French skier Noel leads last World Cup slalom before worlds

French skier Clement Noel posted the fastest first-run time in a men's World Cup slalom Saturday, the last race before his home world championships.

The Olympic slalom champion was chasing his second straight win, after triumphing in a night slalom in Austria 11 days ago.

(Photo: agencies)

Noel led Swiss duo Ramon Zenhaeusern and Daniel Yule, who trailed by 0.15 and 0.17 seconds, respectively.

Henrik Kristoffersen and fellow Norwegians Sebastian Foss-Solevaag and Atle Lie McGrath were ranked fourth to sixth. Foss-Solevaag won the world title two years ago.

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.

The worlds in Courchevel and Meribel start Monday.