Zenhaeusern beats Greek skier Ginnis to win World Cup slalom

CHAMONIX (AP): Swiss skier Ramon Zenhaeusern beat unheralded AJ Ginnis on Saturday to win the last men’s World Cup slalom before the world championships.

Zenhaeusern finished 1.02 seconds ahead of Ginnis, who became the first skier from Greece on a World Cup podium.

It was Zenhaeusern’s sixth career win but first since December 2020. His Swiss teammate Daniel Yule was four-hundredths further back in third.

“The world champs begin from zero, so I enjoy now the moment and world champs (slalom) is in two weeks,” Zenhaeusern said.

Olympic champion Clement Noel, who led after the first run, and Norwegian favorite Henrik Kristoffersen both straddled gates and failed to finish their second run.

American skier Jett Seymour finished seventh and the Steamboat Springs, Colorado native scored World Cup points for the first time in 27 World Cup starts.

Wearing bib 45, Ginnis was 21st after the opening leg before posting the fastest time in the second.

Ginnis, who was born in Greece and whose wife is Ameircan, moved to Austria at age 15 and later went to the United States.

He competed for the U.S. ski team at the 2017 worlds but was dropped from its program following several knee injuries, and has been starting for Greece since 2018.

Lucas Braathen, who leads the discipline standings, sat out the race after undergoing surgery for appendicitis this week. The Norwegian is doubtful for the worlds, where the men’s slalom is the closing event on Feb 19.

Braathen had his lead in the slalom standings reduced to 36 points over Yule, while Kristofferen is 41 points behind in third.

The World Cup season contains two more slaloms after the worlds, which start Monday.