Like last year, Clément Noël was the victor in the second edition of the night exhibition slalom in Crans-Montana. The Frenchman finished in first place, followed by Ramon Zenhäusern and Marc Rochat.
Although the Swiss literally set the Mont Lachaux piste on fire on Wednesday, they had to relinquish the top place to a Frenchman. In fact for the second consecutive year, it was Clément Noël who took gold and the tidy sum of 20,000 francs of prize money in this exhibition slalom. Already in the lead after dominating the first heat, the 22 year old skier from the Vosges beat Ramon Zenhäusern by 0’’69 and Marc Rochat by 1’23’’. «This would be a really beautiful piste for the World Cup », said the French prodigy.
In front of a large crowd– some 4,000 spectators were present on the evening– the Swiss saw their best skiers do battle on a slalom piste that matched the most stunning stages in the winter season. Ramon Zenhäusern, who was supported by his friends and family, managed an impressive second round. «It really is extraordinary to be able to race in these conditions, exclaimed the local from Upper Valais. Plus I’m really happy with my result.»
As for Marc Rochat, with his two solid races, he proved that he is now one of the best specialists in the world. The Vaud native from Crans-Montana chose his home resort on the Haut-Plateau, for his first podium place at this level. Note that Daniel Yule and Tanguy Nef, who were battling for podium places, lost out in the second race.
A piste destined for a Men’s World Cup Night Slalom
Overall, this second Night Exhibition Slalom in Crans-Montana has been a very positive one. The new form of organisation, with the World Cup races Organising Committee working in close collaboration with the CMA ski lift company and Swiss-Ski, enabled a number of improvements to be brought to the event. Marius Robyr, president of the Organising Committee, was very enthusiastic about the large number of fans present, around 4,000 people, and guests from the world of politics, economy and sport who came to applaud the ski aces. He praised the excellent preparation of the spectacular slalom piste, the attractive field, which consisted of a joyful mix of world class slalom skiers and young talents, and also the live broadcast on RSTSport and SRF2.
Most of the renowned athletes present were unanimous in saying that the Crans-Montana slalom piste deserved to be awarded a Men’s World Cup Night Slalom, remarks which will be considered in the Organising Committee’s future strategy. This slalom piste is one of the great positives in the Crans-Montana/Valais bid to organise the World Championships.
|Clément Noël/FRA winner for the second time.|
|Ramon Zenhäusern/SUI, second.|
|Marc Rochat/SUI, third.|
|Beautiful podium this second edition of the Slalom Nocturne Exhibition 2020.|