Clément Noël took advantage of wearing start bib No. 1 to take a big lead in the first run of a World Cup slalom on Sunday.
Getting first use of a smooth race surface, Noël did not seem immediately satisfied with his run on crossing the finish line. Still, he posted a target that was 0.67 seconds faster than slalom standings leader Henrik Kristoffersen.
Marco Schwarz was third with 0.73 to make up in the second run in the afternoon. Noël and Schwarz both won at Wengen last year, in slalom and the combined event, respectively.
World Cup overall standings leader Alexis Pinturault was tied for fourth, trailing his France teammate Noël by 0.99. Pinturault is just two points ahead of Kristoffersen, who will go top if the race placings stay the same.
Daniel Yule’s bid for a third straight slalom win this month looked over, as the Swiss posted the 12th-fastest time, 1.48 back.
Racers reported snow conditions much softer and different to the icy tracks Yule won on at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, and nearby Adelboden.
The course on a hill adjoining the storied Lauberhorn downhill was cleared of a fresh snow covering that fell through the night until Saturday morning.
Andre Myhrer, the 2018 Olympic champion, skied out and hinted in a finish-area interview it would be his last race at Wengen, where he was runner-up in 2010 and '12. The Swedish racer turned 37 this month.
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