Marcel celebrates his return to European snow with two wins. In the process he wins the first ever night giant slalom. He leads the overall World Cup. And he´s caught up with Franz Klammer inte all-time list of World Cup winners. Not bad for a weekends work.
THE FIRST GIANT SLALOM NIGHT WINNER
In the end, this weekend’s late switch from Val d’isère (one of Marcel’s favorite slopes) to Åre in Sweden made no difference: Marcel still swept the board. On Friday night he won the first ever Giant Slalom under lights by a massive 1.22 seconds from Ted Ligety. Then in Sunday’s Slalom he beat Felix Neureuther by 0.10 seconds.
Marcel will now be listed as the first night giant slalom winner in the history of ski racing. But significantly these were also his 25th and 26th World Cup victories. That means he’s already caught up with ski icon Franz Klammer in the list of all-time World cup winners. Three more Giant Slalom victories and he’ll be up there with Benjamin Raich and Hermann Maier, who both won 14 Giant Slaloms (also on Atomic skis…)
COFIDENCE IN THE SETUP
After the race, Marcel said: “No matter where the races are, no matter what conditions, we have a flow in our team that allows us to perform the way we do. We were totally dedicated to the further development of the material, each and every one of us, and it is paying off! I can ski absolutely freely because I know that the set-up is top.” Marcel also pointed out he was especially happy to win the Slalom because “it’s a cool feeling to win a race with my ski and my design.” That’ll be his Atomic Icon II Slalom skis.
MATTIAS HARGIN: 4TH IN HIS 2nd SLALOM ON REDSTER
The other great news from the men’s team this weekend was that Sweden’s No. 1 in Slalom, Mattias Hargin came fourth. He’s just joined us – the race in Åre was his second with the Redster Slalom set-up. So it was very pleasing to see him right in the mix. He knows there’s more in the tank, too: after the race he told us, “It was a home race, but my whole training is focused on the hot phase in January and the World Championships. I can tell how much potential there is in the material. We have not reached the peak yet.”
MIKAELA: FOURTH AND HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
On the women’s side, Mikaela Shiffrin was also racing at Åre this weekend. And while her weekend wasn’t quite as successful as Marcel’s, she still came in a satisfying 4th.
Most encouragingly, her second run was incredible – the fastest second run of everyone, meaning she missed out on the podium by just 0.02 seconds. She’s getting into her groove. Watch this space
NEXT UP: GRÖDEN, VAL D’ISÈRE AND TWO CLASSIC EVENTS IN ITALY
There’s no rest for our Atomic racers. Next weekend the Atomic speed team travels to
Gröden (this will be a home race for Peter Fill and Werne Heel) and our women racers will be at Val d’Isere – with all our fingers crossed for snow.
Meanwhile, Marcel Hirscher will be aiming to keep hold of the leader’s red jersey over the Christmas holidays, in the Giant Slalom classic of Alta Badia and the night Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, next Sunday and Monday. 200 points out of 200 again? Who knows, but don’t rule it out.