“Yes dad! » Crossing the finish line of the downhill in Wengen (Switzerland) in the Alpine Ski World Cup, Thursday January 11, Cyprien Sarrazin cannot hide his smile. The skier from Dévoluy (Hautes-Alpes) finished second in the event, 58 hundredths behind Marco Odermatt. Starting with bib number 11 on his back, the Frenchman set off at the same pace as the Swiss, the two men achieving an identical time on the first section of the track. It was especially on the lower part of the Lauberhorn, one of the most difficult descents on the planet, that the Swiss made the difference. The Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde completes the podium, 81 hundredths behind the winner.

The last French podium in Wengen dates back to 1998, with Jean-Luc Crétier’s second place. The Wengen descent will also remain a good memory for Alexis Pinturault. The Frenchman, a father for a few days (the birth of his daughter made him give up the giant slalom in Adelboden on January 6), finished ninth, the best result of his career in the specialty, 1”43 behind Marco Odermatt .

Cyprien Sarrazin has already shown that he can reach heights. On December 28, 2023, he won the downhill in Bormio (Italy), ahead of Marco Odermatt, thus ending eight years without a French victory in this specialty. This Thursday, he climbed onto the podium in a World Cup downhill for the second time in a row. He is now hot on the heels of the Swiss in the race for the small crystal globe, a reward awarded at the end of the season in each discipline.

Marco Odermatt finally victorious

“It’s a victory for me already to have done this run and to have confirmed, produced a ski roughly similar to Bormio, the French skier enjoyed after the race. It wasn’t the perfect run like I was able to do in Bormio, today it’s Marco [Odermatt] who is doing it. »

Because the Wengen descent marks the first downhill victory for the man who is the headliner of this sport at the moment. The “Roger Federer” of alpine skiing had so far achieved eleven podiums, including eight second places, in the discipline. Double 2023 world champion – in men’s downhill and giant slalom – he delivered a top-notch performance to stand out from all his opponents of the day.

The 26-year-old Swiss won his sixth victory this season in all disciplines. He is among the skiers with the most career World Cup successes (30), four fewer than the most successful active athlete: Alexis Pinturault. The two men will meet on the Wengen track on Friday for the Super-G. The competition remains in Switzerland for a few more days, with another downhill on January 13, and the slalom the next day.