Wearing low-ranked bib No. 38, Johannes Strolz was the shocking winner of a World Cup slalom on Sunday in Adelboden, Switzerland.
The 29-year-old Austrian had a career-best finish of 10th in more than eight years of World Cup racing. The son of an Olympic champion was in tears as he sat in the finish-area leader’s seat watching rivals fail to match his time.
First-run joint leader Manuel Feller bowed theatrically across the finish area to his unheralded compatriot after seeing his time was 0.17 seconds behind in second place.
Linus Strasser of Germany was third, trailing by 0.29. Strasser had been 14th-fastest in a tightly contest first run in the morning when Strolz placed seventh.
Still, Strolz had only 0.17 to make up in the second leg raced through steadily falling snow on the storied Chuesnisbargli hill at Adelboden.
“Finally now it all came together,” Strolz said, who placed 10th in a World Cup slalom two years ago. “I just tried to focus on my skiing.”
Strolz’s father, Hubert, took gold in combined at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and also silver in giant slalom.
His chance for victory Sunday first opened up when three pre-race favorites failed to finish the first run.
World champion Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, wearing No. 1, slid out four gates from the end and No. 3 Clement Noel went out early in his run.
A crash for Kristoffer Jakobsen, who remains tied for the slalom standings lead with Foss-Solevaag, turned him around and sent him sliding into a finish-line structure.
Strolz soared directly into third place in the slalom standings with the 100 race points he earned for the surprise win.