Clément Noël, the 2022 Olympic champion who was a two-time winner at Verte des Ouches in 2020 and 2021, clinched the third spot at the Chamonix slalom on Sunday. This marks his 23rd World Cup podium and his third in the current season, a slight disappointment considering his previous victories.
Noël initially held the lead in the first round, outpacing Timon Haugan of Norway and Manuel Feller of Austria, the current World Cup leader in this category. At the age of 26, Noël had high hopes for a different outcome. However, like many others, he was unable to beat the time set by Daniel Yule, finishing a mere 18 hundredths of a second behind.
Yule, hailing from Switzerland, made history with an unprecedented comeback. Despite finishing 30th and last in the first round, Yule won the event. He was the first to start on the second course and was able to leverage a perfect track before it began to deteriorate due to the heat. It is worth noting that the two planned descents in Chamonix were cancelled because of insufficient snow.
Yule expressed his amazement at his unexpected victory, stating, “It’s absolutely incredible, I was incredibly fortunate [to advance to the second round] and I knew I had to give it my all.” Despite the long wait, he persevered and achieved an unlikely victory. Yule admitted he almost considered returning to the hotel but decided to seize the opportunity for a second chance in the second round.
After securing third place in the Schladming slalom in Austria at the end of January, and a somewhat inconsistent start to the season, Clément Noël is regaining his zest for the podium. He came in ahead of another Swiss skier, Loïc Meillard, who was second, trailing 16 hundredths behind Yule. Steven Amiez, another French skier and son of former slalom rider Sébastien Amiez, achieved his fifth consecutive top 20 finish, coming in 9th (+0″43).