Zenhausern gets slalom season off the mark with Alta Badia win

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Swiss Ramon Zenhausern won his second World Cup slalom event in Alta Badia, Italy.

Switzerland's Ramon Zenhausern won a tight battle in the first World Cup men's slalom race of the season on Monday in Alta Badia.

The 28-year-old, who had been eighth after the first run, edged out Austrians Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz by 0.08sec and 0.12sec respectively.

It was Zenhausern's fourth World Cup win and second in the slalom. His last victory in that event came in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia in March 2019.

"I was a bit nervous, this being my first race of the season," said Zenhausern.

It has been 10 months since the last slalom race was hosted in Chamonix, France before the coronavirus pandemic forced the ski season to be cancelled.

"It's great to see that I have a good level and I'm looking forward to racing again tomorrow (Tuesday) in Campiglio!" he said.

Feller came out best in the battle behind the winner for second spot, claiming his first podium finish since March 2019.

"It's the most emotional moment of my career," said Feller.

"I had a very hard season last year and it feels so amazing to see the green light again after crossing the finish line."

Alexis Pinturault, winner of the giant slalom on Sunday, had been ideally positioned in sixth after the first run.

But the French skier slumped to 27th best in the second, finishing 11th overall at 0.77sec, but nevertheless extended his lead in the overall World Cup standings.

Pinturault leads Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde by 25 points in the standings with Swiss Marco Odermatt third, 60 points behind the Frenchman.

Neither Kilde nor Odermatt participated in the slalom race.

Italy's Alex Vinatzer had led the way in the first run but finished off the podium in fourth at 0.19sec.

The second slalom of the season takes place on Tuesday in Madonna di Campiglio.

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