'Snow King' Strasser stuns field to win Zagreb slalom

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Strasser the 'Snow King' of Zagreb

Germany's Linus Strasser was crowned 'Snow King' after a shock maiden victory in the men's World Cup slalom in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Strasser was in eighth spot after the first leg, but produced a solid second leg for a combined total of 2min 01.30sec.

It was just the 28-year-old's second World Cup victory after previously winning a parallel slalom event in 2017.

The first German to win a World Cup slalom since Felix Neureuther over three years ago was reduced to tears after crossing the line.

"At the finish I was thinking about making the podium but never about winning," he said.

Austrians Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz completed the podium, at 0.10 and 0.16sec respectively.

Feller's second-placed finish saw him leapfrog Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, 10th equal on Wednesday in foggy and warm conditions, to the top of the slalom standings.

France's defending title holder Clement Noel failed to capitalise on his fastest first leg, a mid-descent mistake on the second costing him valuable seconds that saw him finish seventh.

"I didn't think that Noel would be behind me by almost a second, he's a high class slalomer," reflected Strasser.

While Noel's teammate Alexis Pinturault might have been disappointed with his 18th-placed finish, he retook the lead in the overall standings from Norway's speed specialist Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.