Ramon Zenhaeusern snaps 2-year drought, takes men's World Cup slalom over Ginnis

Swiss skier Ramon Zenhaeusern beat unheralded AJ Ginnis on Saturday to win the last men's World Cup slalom before the world championships in Chamonix, France. A trio of Canadians didn't advance to the second run.

Canadians Erik Read, Liam Wallace and Simon Fournier didn't qualify for 2nd run

Three man in skiing gear are seen holding their own trophies while they stand on the podium against a banner with sponsors logos.
Switzerland's Ramon Zenhaeusern, middle, won a men's slalom World Cup on Saturday in Chamonix, France, while AJ Ginnis of Greece, left, was second and Daniel Yule, Zenhaeusern's teammate, third. (Millo Moravski/Agence Zoom)

Ramon Zenhaeusern threw his ski poles in the air Saturday right after finishing the last men's World Cup slalom before the world championships.

The Swiss skier had just beaten unheralded AJ Ginnis, who was just as pleased with his second place. Zenhaeusern posted a two-run time of one minute 42.94 seconds, 1.02 ahead of Ginnis, who became the first skier from Greece on a World Cup podium.

"That was an emotional outburst," Zenhaeusern said from Chamonix, France. "I had a long drought. That I finish with the green light and with such an advantage, that was a huge relief."

It was Zenhaeusern's sixth career win but first since December 2020. Swiss teammate Daniel Yule was 4-100ths of a second back of Ginnis in third (1:44.00).

"The world champs begin from zero, so I enjoy now the moment and world champs [slalom] is in two weeks [Courchevel and Méribel, France]," Zenhaeusern said.

WATCH | Zenhaeusern picks up 6th career World Cup victory:

FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Chamonix: Men's slalom run 2

2 months ago
Duration 1:17:26
Watch the second and deciding run of the men's slalom competition from the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup stop in Chamonix, France.

A trio of Canadians failed to qualifying for the second run — Calgary's Erik Read (34th, 52.02 seconds) and Liam Wallace (43rd, 52.26) along with Montreal's Simon Fournier (54th, 53.28). Asher Jordan of North Vancouver, B.C., did not finish the opening run.

Olympic champion Clement Noel, who led after the first run (Zenhaeusern was second) and Norwegian favourite Henrik Kristoffersen both straddled gates and failed to finish their second run.

Wearing bib 45, Ginnis was 21st after the opening leg before posting the fastest time in the second.

"Really unbelievable, a dream," said Ginnis, whose career has been marred by knee injuries. "Last year, I tore my ACL again so I had to come back again. Everything went well today, I had luck and I skied well."

Ginnis, who was born in Greece and whose wife is American, was 12 when he moved to Austria with his father, a ski instructor. He went to the United States three years later and competed for the U.S. ski team at the 2017 worlds.

He was dropped from its program following several injuries, and has been starting for Greece since 2018. His previous best result was 11th from a slalom in Austria two years ago.

Lucas Braathen, who leads the discipline standings, sat out the race after undergoing surgery for appendicitis this week. The Norwegian is doubtful for the worlds, where the men's slalom is the closing event on Feb 19.

Braathen had his lead in the slalom standings reduced to 36 points over Yule, while Kristofferen is 41 points behind in third.

The World Cup season contains two more slaloms after the worlds, which start Monday.

With files from CBC Sports

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