JAN 14, 2019
The biggest and one of the most prestigious Austrian race events in skimountaineering, the Mountain Attack on the slopes of the ski resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm, brought two second and one ninth rank for the Atomic Backland Athletes.
The skimountaineering race with three different courses exclusively on prepared slopes is located in the Austrian valley „Glemmtal”. The poor conditions on the roads, caused by heavy snowfalls over the past days, made accessing the Glemmtal rather difficult. Even so, around 800 athletes were at the start line. On the “Marathon” track, which had also been shortened due to the weather conditions, the Austrian Backland Ultimate athlete Armin Höfl delivered an extremely strong performance and was able to reach the finish after 2600m of climbing and an race time of almost two hours only 38 seconds behind last year’s overall World Cup winner Michele Boscacci. His efforts resulted in a second rank. On the “Tour” track with 2,036 metres of altitude difference, it was his fellow countryman Daniel Zugg, who celebrated rank two. US-American John Gaston finished his premiere on the “Marathon” track with a very good ninth place.
Höfl is extremely satisfied with his second rank behind the Italian World Cup winner Michele Boscacci: „I started my race a little gently, but in the first downhill, I stepped on the gas and made up ground. Up the „Zwölfer“ (one of the peaks the athletes had to climb), Boscacci was very fast, but on the last climb, we were able to get closer again. In between, I had to fight for the second place with Jakob Herrmann, who had overtaken me for a short time in the last downhill, but in the last corner into the village it was on my side, I was finally ahead. It was an exciting event with a result better than I had expected, especially in direct comparison to the world elite.”
„It was my first long race this year and that’s why the result is satisfactory. The future winner I didn’t have in mind at first, but he went an incredible speed in the decisive uphill section, and I could not quite follow. Now, I’m going into active recovery in preparation for the home World Cup next week in Bischofshofen.”
Finishing ninth, the American John Gaston delivered a very good result for Atomic at his debut in Saalbach: „I had some problems with my skins in the steep slopes of the first mountain, and orientating myself was sometimes difficult in the downhill sections because I hadn’t been able to inspect all the track sections ahead of the race. But the earlier journey to Europe before the World Cup starts, was definitely worth it, and I will for sure come back!”
Now, the Atomic athletes are preparing for the start into the ISMF World Cup. The first event takes place in Bischofshofen, Austria, already next week from the 18th to the 20th January 2019.