Alpine

Bennett 10th In Surprise Wengen Alpine Combined

by
USSA
2017-01-13 07:55
 

WENGEN, Switzerland (Jan. 13, 2017) – Friday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined produced a surprise podium, and another top 10 World Cup result for Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA).

With upwards of six inches of new snow overnight, officials swapped the downhill and slalom events, running the slalom first and the downhill – which was moved to a lower start position – to later in the afternoon.

"Usually downhill (first) I’m more comfortable with… and then you can do the downhill and see where you stand and then go into the slalom.” said Bennett, who finished 10th in the morning slalom. “But with the slalom first, you definitely have to perform to get a better position for the downhill. It’s a little bit more pressure to perform in slalom.”

And Friday proved to be more about luck than position as Switzerland’s Niels Hintermann came out of the 51st start position to win his career-first World Cup event in only his 12th start on the World Cup circuit. And the surprises didn’t stop with Hintermann. France’s Maxence Muzaton scored a career-first World Cup podium in second, as did Austria’s Frederic Berthold, who finished third. In fact, all three had never posted a top 10 World Cup result in their young careers. Of the three, Muzaton had the previous highest placing World Cup result – 11th in the downhill at Kitzbuehel in 2015.

How did all this craziness unfold? It started with the new snow overnight and a rock-solid slalom track, followed by more snow.


Bryce Bennett finished 10th in Friday’s World Cup alpine combined in Wengen. (Getty Image/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

“It snowed about 20cm this morning, so I went to go do some warm up runs – I haven’t skied slalom in a while – so there was a lot of soft snow so you couldn't really get a good feel.” said Bennett, who matched his bib in the slalom, finishing 18th. “Then I got into slalom there in the first three gates and I was like ‘oh, OK, this is World Cup slalom, wake up.’"

Meanwhile, Hintermann was 23rd in the slalom and started eighth in the downhill. After moving atop the leaderboard, snow started falling again, which significantly slowed the track for the remaining starters, including Bennett.

“It was definitely challenging conditions,” Bennet said of his downhill run as heavy snow fell. “It started snowing pretty hard after about 10 guys and it definitely made the race interesting.”


Switzerland's Niels Hintermann was the surprise winner in Friday alpine combined World Cup. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)

Up next, more snow is in the forecast – upwards of 20 inches - for Wengen and Saturday’s downhill. Start time is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. EST.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bryce Bennett finished 10th in Friday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined.
  • Switzerland’s Niels Hintermann came out of the 51st start position to win his career-first World Cup.
  • France’s Maxence Muzaton scored a career-first World Cup podium in second, as did Austria’s Frederic Berthold, who finished third.
  • Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starkboro, VT), Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) and Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) did not finish in the slalom portion of the combined.
  • Road to Aspen: Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who did not compete Friday, continues to lead the overall World Cup standings with 893 points. France’s Alexis Pinturault, who finished 20th Friday, is second overall with 605 points.

 

QUOTES
Bryce Bennett
It was definitely challenging conditions. It started snowing pretty hard after about 10 guys and it definitely made the race interesting.

Usually downhill (first) I’m more comfortable with… and then you can do the downhill and see where you stand and then go into the slalom. But with the slalom first, you definitely have to perform to get a better position for the downhill. It’s a little bit more pressure to perform in slalom.

It snowed about 20cm this morning, so I went to go do some warm up runs – I haven’t skied slalom in a while – so there was a lot of soft snow so you couldn't really get a good feel. Then I got into slalom there in the first three gates and I was like ‘oh, OK, this is World Cup slalom, wake up.’

BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (times EST)
All events streaming at: www.nbcsports.com/live
Friday, Jan. 13
5:30 p.m. – Men's alpine combined TV: Universal HD

Saturday, Jan. 14
6:30 a.m. – Men’s downhill, Wengen
8:30 p.m. – Men’s downhill, Wengen, NBCSN

Sunday, Jan. 15
4:30 a.m. – Men’s slalom run 1, Wengen
7:30 a.m. – Men’s slalom, run 2, Wengen
6:30 a.m. – Men's slalom, Wengen: Universal HD

RESULTS
Men’s alpine combined