MARCO SCHWARZ & ALEXANDER KILDE: THE RISING REDSTERS
Next to the established veterans, Italy also brought some rising stars to a now crowded Atomic Power-Team. Alexander Aamodt Kilde (23), who took 3rd in Gröden after recording the fastest time on the last intermediate and Marco Schwarz (20), who started the race with #33 and the 2nd leg from 17th position, in the end got an unexpected podium finish with a 3rd place. Adding to Schwarz’ sensational ascent is the fact that he just needed 11 World Cup races to get onto a podium (one more race than Marcel Hirscher needed for his first). The 20-year-old is no stranger to success. He won three gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games in 2012 (Giant Slalom, Super Combined & Team Event) and was the 2014 Super-G Junior world champion. With Robert Bürgler (Benjamin Raich’s former service man) in his corner, Blacky is literally set up for success.
HÖFLEHNER: „BLACKY'S PERFORMANCE IS NO ACCIDENT!“
Christian Höflehner, who introduced "Blacky" to the Atomic family this spring, is hopeful for the future: "The best with Blacky's performance is it was not an accident. With better starting numbers he will finish in the Top-15 on a regular basis.“ Two spots on the podium in Madonna gave Höflehner lots of reason to smile: „It's obvious how good our material is in the flat section and still with a lot of control in the steep part. The way Marcel has delivered under pressure after the disappointment in the parallel-GS, has been incredible.“ A succesful pre-christmas time was rounded off by a third place finish by Michaela Kirchgasser in the Super Combination of Val d’Isère.