JAN 02, 2018
As the World Cup leaders and four times season winners Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin are carving into the Christmas break. The last three races before Christmas were just a unique, continuous Redster party. Despite a great blunder Marcel won the Madonna slalom and Mikaela won the “giant” and parallel slalom in Courchevel.
Marcel Hirscher’s career win n° 49 is one that will be remembered for a long time. Due to a mishap in the 2nd run which would have knocked anyone else out of the top ten. As half-time leader, the six-times overall World Cup champion lost five tenths of a second on the second slowest and 1.16 seconds on the fastest in the 14 second section but despite this still won his 22nd World Cup slalom. “It was crazy that I still managed it. After my mistake I gave it everything I had. I owed it to my team who have also given it everything over the last few weeks.”
Now for the fourth time in 7 years Marcel is starting the Christmas break as the leader in the Overall standings, 29 points ahead. “The rest of the season only has a few more starts left in the super G or combined. It’s going to be a direct fight between Marcel and Kristoffersen, where neither of them can afford to make a mistake due to the rival’s great consistency” Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner explained. Whilst his team colleagues will return to Bormio for the combined and downhill (28th / 29th December) Marcel will be back on his skis on 27th to prepare for the city event in Oslo and the slalom in Zagreb.
FOLLOW THE LEADER – MIKAELA IS LEADING 4 OUT OF 5 INTERIM RESULTS
Mikaela Shiffrin is not having any break over the holidays at all and from 23rd December she will be preparing for the technical competitions in Lienz in South Tyrol. The three times World Champion now, after the double strike in Courchevel, has 35 World Cup wins. Especially the improvements in giant slalom are, after the training course in Norway in mid December undeniable, as the one second lead proved on Tuesday. In the parallel slalom, after 1st place in the qualifying, she achieved the best time of the day and won by four hundredths of a second in the final over her long-time rival Vlhova. More than remarkable: Mikaela is now leading by 291 points in the Overall World Cup after only the first third of the season and is leading the interim results in three disciplines (slalom, giant slalom and downhill!).
In the shadow of the Redster champions the future talents, rookies and underdogs are also having a break from the limelight. Thanks to a 5th place in Madonna Manuel Feller has returned to the 1st starting group, Thomas Hettegger also skied into the points in 16th place with his 4th World Cup run; whilst in the Ladies parallel event Jessica Hilzinger (GER / 13th) and Maryna Gasienica-Daniel (POL/17th) showed their best career performances to-date. The results were also impressive in the European Cup, after two Ladies downhills in Passo San Pellegrino and two super Gs on the Reiteralm: six podium places in four races (Niklas Köck/AUT 1st and 2nd, Anna Hofer/ITA 2nd and 3rd, Christina Ager/AUT 1x 2nd place, Thomas Biesemeyer/USA 1x 3rd place)