Atomic World Cup Opening. The World Cup got off to a successful start for Atomic in Sölden: In a repeat of last year's results, Kathrin Zettel claimed second place in the first race of the new season, with World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher once again taking third. "Sölden feels", he commented, "it's a bit like studying for an exam at school: You prepare, but you don't quite know where you stand. Not until after the race. That's why I'm so pleased with this third place. It shows that we're on the right track."
"THANK YOU!!!!", shouted the overall World Cup winner and double champion to the excited spectators crowded around the finish area on the Rettenbachferner glacier. A shout of relief and joy. "There was such a crazy build up of tension before this race. So much time, so much sweat and so much passion - yet there was still this uncertainty. When you sweep into the finish area and realize: that's it, I've made it onto the podium, we've done a lot of things right. That's a liberating feeling," explains Marcel Hirscher. For him personally, third place is a great achievement. For his coaches and the entire Atomic crew, it's also an important confirmation. "The results in Sölden clearly show that we've successfully developed the next generation of the Redster Doubledeck GS." He adds: "Not just for me, but also in the women's Giant Slalom."
KATHRIN, TINA, MIKAELA: THREE AMONG THE TOP 6
Kathrin Zettel's second place was the latest episode in her unbroken run of successes at Sölden since 2005, with positions 4, 3, 1, 2, 7, 7, 2, 2: "A podium place was my dream. My performance in the second run wasn't just important for the result, it made a big difference to the way I feel: realizing at the start of a season that your equipment will allow you to safely explore your limits is very reassuring. This is what Sölden showed me."
Sölden also showed the Redster ladies Tina Weirather and Mikaela Shiffrin an important fact in this opening event of the Olympic winter: that they now both rank among the world's very top competitors in Giant Slalom. The two athletes recorded the best Giant Slalom results of their careers in Sölden, demonstrating the great progress they have achieved. Slalom World Champion and World Cup winner Mikaela had some criticism of her own performance: "I didn't manage to keep the momentum quite so consistently from start to finish in Sölden. I think I need some more race practice to tackle this."
The women and men are now gearing up for the start of the slalom season in mid-November, in Levi (FIN). Wearing the winner's red jersey in each category: the Atomic stars Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher, who both achieved the double (World Championship gold and World Cup crystal globe) in Slalom.