JAN 07, 2016
Right on track. Thanks to a new Set-Up Marcel Hirscher landed another spectacular victory on the icy slopes of Santa Caterina. It was his 5th win of the season, his 17th ever in a slalom and his 36th in his entire World Cup career. In posession of the lead in the overall rankings, the Austrian ski hero will try to widen the gap to his competitors this weekend at the technical events in Adelboden. Besides Marcel also Michaela Kirchgasser (4th place finish) and Rookie Marc Digruber (second best time in the final run) impressed with dynamic and precision.“
“At the beginning of the winter our focus has been largely on aggressiveness, dynamic and punch”, said Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner, outlining the performance require-ments over Christmas: “Now it was our goal to add more running smoothness in particular on tracks with a lot of flow and on rather flat slopes.” On Epiphany Day (6th of January) Marcel could already harvest what has been sown. His 36th World Cup victory equals the record of Atomic-icon Benjamin Raich, both of them now rank 6th in the history of most career wins. In the Slalom hall of fame Hirscher was pressing forward to 3rd position going head to head with Marc Girardelli.
Another impressive stat: After one third of the season Marcel has been racking up already half of the points (721) that easily guided him to his 4th overall victory last year (1448 points). After 9 races his points average amounts to an incredible 80.1 points. Christian Höflehner: “ Awesome! The precision with which Marcel is delivering his top performance is one of a kind. No matter the terrain or the tracking and always knowing that a crash can hurt your chances in the fight for crystal.”
MARCEL RETURNING TO HIS PLAYGROUND
While Marcel continues to outshine his peers the next Redster generation is kicking into gear. Marc „Tiger“ Digruber landed his all-time-high in Italy. With the second best-time in the final run he finished in splendid 9th place. „That’s quite an incredible story“, smiled Höflehner. „Last winter he didn’t make any points and this season he qualified in all of his 3 starts and now in his third race on Atomic skis he broke the Top 10 for the first time.“ Manuel Feller started with number 53 and finished in 16th place. Both of them together with Madonna di Campiglio sensation Marco Schwarz will all have a starting number lower than 30 on Sunday in Adelboden. The Chuenisbärgli slope is the favorite terrain of Marcel Hirscher who in 11 starts made it 8 times to the podium, 5 times of which climbing to the top spot.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE FOR KIRCHGASSER?
The women’s circuit will travel to Zauchensee this weekend for a speed challenge. The main challenge though could be the icey conditions. This is why the Atomic test team has been on site for days to create a true home advantage for Tina Weirather & Co. In the slalom on Tuesday in Flachau Michaela Kirchgasser is pursuing her first podium of the season. Christian Höflehner: „Her 4th place finish in Santa Caterina has made clear that it’s only a matter of time. Michi has got the speed and the consistency and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.“