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Daniel Yule ends long Swiss wait for win in Adelboden slalom

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (AP) — Daniel Yule ended Switzerland’s 12-year wait for a win at storied Adelboden with an emotional victory in a World Cup slalom on Sunday. Yule was the last starter with a good lead from the first run, and survived a big mistake in the middle section to finish 0.23 seconds ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen, the World Cup standings leader.

“This is my house,” Yule screamed in the finish area as thousands of Swiss fans roared their appreciation. Yule was born in Switzerland though his family has Scottish and English roots. It was Yule’s second wire-to-wire slalom victory this week after a night race win at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

Switzerland had no podium finishers at Adelboden since 2008, but that run seemed sure to end with four of the fastest five in the first-leg run Sunday hailing from the country. Still, when Yule left the starting gate it was Norway’s Kristoffersen in front by 0.05 from Marco Schwarz of Austria, who ended third.

Kristoffersen extended his lead in the World Cup overall and slalom standings, with Yule rising to second in the slalom points race. No Swiss has won the Adelboden slalom since Marc Berthod in 2007. Berthod also won the classic giant slalom the next year, but the following decade brought little for home fans to cheer.

“I had the big mistake in the flat (section) and I thought, ‘OK … that was it,’" Yule said in an interview broadcast to the crowd. "To cross over the finish line and to hear the crowd, it’s unbelievable.”

The 26-year-old Yule took just five days to go from one career World Cup win to three, and set a Swiss record. In 53 years of World Cup racing, Yule now stands atop the Alpine-crazed nation's roll of honor as the only man with three slalom victories.

Two of Yule's closest challengers in the morning failed to finish the tense second run. Second-placed Clement Noel of France crashed out, and fourth-placed Tanguy Nef, a Dartmouth College student from Switzerland, straddled a gate.

For the second straight day, Kristoffersen used frustration with his first-run performance to rise on to the podium. He tied for third in Saturday’s giant slalom and now has 59 podium finishes in the World Cup aged just 25.

Kristoffersen leads what has been an open race for the overall title after the eight-year domination by Marcel Hirscher, who retired in the offseason. Earning 80 points Sunday, the Norwegian is 78 clear of Alexis Pinturault, who placed eighth Sunday.

Pinturault can take the lead Friday when he will be favored in the next World Cup race, an Alpine combined event at nearby Wengen. The 90th annual Lauberhorn meeting at Wengen includes the classic downhill on Saturday and a slalom on Sunday.

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