JAN 27, 2016
Mr. Thrill. The Planai turned into an Open-Air-Stage for Marcel Hirscher who gave his fans an emotional rollercoaster at the nightrace in Schladming.
Only 22th place after the first run; an epic unbound 2nd run and in the end runner-up after a sensational comeback. It was the next act in the Marcel Hirscher Redster Hero Show. To be continued …
Marcel Hirscher and Schladming: This is what unforgettable ski stories are made out of! 2012, in his first winter competing for the overall World Cup, Marcel won the nightrace despite massive pressure after „threadinggate“. Only a few weeks later he secured his first „big globe“ with a third-place finish in the Super-G at the World Cup finals. 2013 at the World Championships in Schladming he won silver in the GS, gold in the team relay and crowned himself World Champion in the Slalom ascending to national hero status. 2014 he finished runner-up, last year in 14th place for a change.
MARCEL HIRSCHER‘S UNCONVENTIONAL LENSES EXPERIMENT
This year the expectations ran high after his impressive performance in Kitzbühel. The humidity and the floodlight at the Nightrace may cause some reflection of light with the modern double lens goggles. Thus Marcel came up with the unconventional approach to use an old model with single lens. In the Atomic-headquarter in Altenmarkt he found what he was looking for, yet the lens was installed with the anti-fog side outwardly.
„That’s a mistake that may not happen but unfortunately can’t be ruled out“, said Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner. „It’s the same like in the Formula 1 when the changing of the tires occasionally is messed up although they keep drilling on a regular basis.“ Marcel Hirscher‘s retro glasses fogged and at the end of the blind flight he had to settle for 22nd place with a massive deficit to the leaders.
“So far everything has always worked out perfectly. From chipping come chips!”
Though Marcel didn’t bury his head in the sand. With an early starting number in the second heat and with the perfect usual view he performed one of the best runs in his whole career. He survived all competitors waiting in the leaders box until Henrik Kristoffersen made an end to Hirscher’s sensational comeback. The Norwegian carved to his sixth victory of the season yet it was Marcel Hirscher who was the talk of the town in this epic Slalom Nightrace finishing runner-up. At once it brought back memories when in 1999 Atomic-legend Benni Raich raced to victory after position 23 in the first run. It now was the next act in the Marcel Hirscher Redster Hero Show with Marcel passing a compliment to the Atomic R&D department: „I was racing with a new model of my ICON Serie II –that made this run possible in the first place!“
From the rest of the Redster-Gang Marc Digruber finished brilliantly in 10th spot. For the other hopefuls that were partly on a great way the race counts as an important learning process. Next weekend the World Cup will return to Garmisch with a downhill and Super-G race. The Women will compete at the same time in Maribor with technical events.