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The Gran Risa Speaks Norwegian Again, Lucas Braathen Wins in Alta Badia: "Crazy to Win a Classic Like This"

The Gran Risa Speaks Norwegian Again, Lucas Braathen Wins in Alta Badia: "Crazy to Win a Classic Lik
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The Gran Risa Speaks Norwegian Again, Lucas Braathen Wins in Alta Badia: "Crazy to Win a Classic Lik
Alta Badia (South Tyrolean Dolomites/Italy) - Lucas Braathen is the winner of the first of the two giant slaloms in Alta Badia. No one has been able to ski along the Gran Risa slope like the 22-year-old Norwegian with Brazilian origin, who was able to climb from third position in the first run up to the top (2'36"35), to beat his compatriot Henrik Kristoffersen (who triumphed here twelve months ago, on 19 December 2021) by just two hundredths and the incredible Marco Odermatt by ten hundredths. After the first run in ninth position, the World Cup leader recovered to third position, confirming his place on the podium. Odermatt won the second giant slalom last year (20 December 2021) in Alta Badia. Second run to forget for the Slovenian athlete Zan Kranjec, in the lead after the first run and then only fifth. A cold day warmed up by the warmth of the public who returned to cheer on their favourites at the feet of the Gran Risa in La Villa.
For Braathen, this was the fourth victory in his career, the second in the giant slalom after Sölden (18 October 2020), and second also in the season, as he had ended the Val d'Isère weekend victoriously, winning the slalom last Sunday. "It's incredible, I didn't think I would back-to-back with Val d'Isère and win here as well. It's great to win on such a difficult slope and I really can't realise that I triumphed in a classic like this, it's an unforgettable day for me," said the Oslo-born skier from 2000. "Our Norwegian team is doing really well and it's always nice to share great results with your teammates, so this double podium is worth much more than a solo victory. I'm also very proud of my roommate (Kristoffersen; ed) because he said he didn't feel too good and, instead, here he is by my side. Tomorrow will be another battle".

The first three classified athletes received the beautiful trophies made by the artist Daniele Basso, author of the GIGANT sculpture, installed at the start of the Gran Risa slope for the 30th anniversary of the event.

The only Italian athletes who were able to place in the top 30 were Filippo Della Vite (17th) and Luca De Aliprandini (18th). The last Italian podium on these slopes was Luca De Aliprandini's 2nd place in the second giant slalom of 2021. To find an Italian on the top step, however, we have to go back to 2011, when Max Blardone triumphed for the third time. He acted as POV (point of view) camera skier opening both manches on the slope in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: "It was a crazy emotion to return to my beloved Gran Risa. In the first manche I tried not to overdo it, just having fun and enjoying it. So I got a bit of feeling and the second one I pushed it to the point that the trainers on the track told me I was still in shape. I wanted to test myself at the age of 43, and I came out with a good result, I hope I have entertained the spectators and I invite everyone to ski here. The ski area is 100 per cent open, the lifts are fully functional, so the atmosphere is magical. There is a winter atmosphere that has been missing for the last two years, I know that there has already been a great tourist response since the beginning of December, so it will be a great season".

Tomorrow the second giant slalom will be held on the Gran Risa, with the first manche starting at 10am and the second at 1.30 pm. The race will be televised worldwide, 15 international broadcasters will guarantee global coverage of the giant slalom in Alta Badia. Furthermore, tomorrow morning, some of the ski lifts in the Alta Badia ski area will open their doors at 07.15 am to give ski fans the chance to see the sun rise at 2000m and to ski on perfectly groomed slopes, prepared during the night by the numerous snowgroomers in operation in the area. In combination with this, there is the possibility of enjoying a hearty breakfast, based on genuine and healthy products, at the Club Moritzino, Ütia I Tablá, Ütia de Bioch, Ütia Piz Arlara and Ütia Las Vegas refuges.

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