Clement Noel couldn’t believe his luck. The Frenchman, who didn’t really want to get started this season, went from seventh place on the Planai to his ninth victory in the World Cup after the first run. “That is”, said the Olympic champion, “incredible, a victory in what is perhaps the best race of the season.” He can confidently delete the “maybe”. Because the party that around 40,000 fans gave the stars on the Planai is unique.

And Manuel Feller almost made sure that the party level went into the red. After second place in the first run, he attacked fully, because: “I’m not at the start to finish second.” But bad luck seems to be sticking to the Austrians’ ski boots at the moment. Because two mistakes cost too much time – there was a bitter fourth place for the man from Fieberbrunn, who had finished third last year. “I would like to trade that place for today’s. That really hurts, it’s probably the worst fourth place of my career.”

Comment on the night slalom: Thank you, Schladming! This is how it should go on

What the 30-year-old meant by that: “After two failures you take it with you, but I’m so sorry for the many people. It’s a shame, because the people here still practice skiing, as you can see. It’s all the more a pity that we’re a bit bumpy at the moment.” His conclusion: “It was a good run – but unfortunately not good enough.”

How true: Because Austria’s slalom men switched to attack, especially in the second run – and failed. Adrian Pertl dropped out. Marco Schwarz made it to the finish, but fell back to 25th place, Johannes Strolz fought to finish, which he succeeded. But 16th place didn’t satisfy him because of the many mistakes, “but I’m happy to take the points with me”.