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The Atomic stars Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher are definitely still the benchmarks in Alpine racing. Whilst Marcel Hirscher celebrated his 60th World Cup win to-date, in the same place as his debut victory back in 2009, Mikaela Shiffrin demonstrated her class in St. Moritz. Her maximum points with wins in the Super G and parallel slalom, just like Marcel’s jubilee win, prove that the Atomic support in the background is working perfectly. 3 races, 3 wins, the stars are in Redster flow: both of them are leading the Overall World Cup classification. A glance behind the scenes shows what’s making them stronger.
Before his 60th World Cup win Marcel Hirscher was training on the Reiteralm, near Schladming to perfect his G9 skis with his ideal set up, which he wanted to start his 226th World Cup race in Val d’Isère with. After ten hours on the road, his range of racing skis reached the racing venue, and there, after a night shift in the wax workshop, they were perfectly prepared for the start. This is the Atomic commitment that nobody sees on television, which supported Chapter 60 in Marcel Hirscher’s unique World Cup history. Christian Höflehner, Atomic Global Race Manager: “The visibility, the slope: the slope was even more difficult than usual. Only a few metres of visibility down the slope, you need to decide exactly where can I speed up, where should I slow down? And nobody is as intuitive and intelligent as Marcel.”
“In my opinion, this is the hardest Giant Slalom on the World Cup circuit. Keep a high line, let the skis run, a compromise is definitely the recipe for success.”
Marcel Hirscher after his win in Val d´Isère
After his jubilee win, Marcel is now leading the Overall World Cup by 42 points. “Manuel Feller would have come in the Top 5 without his blunder in the first run,” analysed team boss Höflehner. “Now for him, it’s about improving his consistency, the speed is already there.”
MAGIC MIKAELA: 200 POINTS AFTER HER ST. MORITZ-DOUBLE
The speed was also there for Mikaela Shiffrin, who was skiing in absolute Redster flow. And straight after her first Super G victory in Lake Louise she also won again in St. Moritz. A special win: as St. Moritz is considered a race for the experienced, and is also the home run for Swiss athletes. But in the end it was Mikaela who was smiling on the top rung of the podium again. And the analysis of the interim times proved to service man Johann Strobl that he had tuned her Redster G9 into a league of her own for the victorious win. Part of her success can also be attributed to the new binding: Mikaela started the race with a prototype whose series name is still a secret. “In the pre-production series our new toe piece shows that it makes more efficient use of the punch and pull of the Redster G9 skis and makes them easier to handle,” says Global Race Manager Christian Höflehner.
Mikaela in Redster flow: sometimes some things are possible which are normally impossible, like an error like hers in the final of the 48th World Cup parallel slalom in St. Moritz, but she still won. It wasn’t just Mikaela’s maximum points in St. Moritz that made Christian Höflehner happy, but also the performance of the others in the team: Joana Hählen (SUI), new addition to the team, came in 7th place Stephanie Venier 10th in the Super G, plus six female Redster athletes in the final of the parallel slalom: “We’ve got a good team” said Höflehner.
TEST TEAM IS ALREADY IN VAL GARDENA, BUT WHEN IS SOFIA COMING BACK?
The Atomic test team has already travelled to Val Gardena with four specialists, where the men’s races and then the women’s races are on the agenda. A fifth Atomic expert is also heading there for a special reason, as he’s responsible for Sofia Goggia’s Redster G9 race material, who is expected to make a comeback soon.