JAN 31, 2019
“Just wait until everything goes according to plan again!” It’s rare for Marcel to make a threat, but just before Schladming that’s exactly what he did. The classic Slalom races in Wengen and Kitzbühel, where he had to work unusually hard to earn his third and second place aroused the ski maniac in Marcel again. In his last training run before the night race, on his home snow in Annaberg, the hero of all-time skiing changed his setup by a few millimeters. A change so minor that no normal skier would notice this difference. Marcel said, “For me it makes a world of difference”.
From the millions of options he chose the right one and certainly gave his competitors something to think about! His win with a record 1.21 second lead, a sea of Redster flags, Marcel mania for his 45,000 fans in his very own heroic arena and for millions at home as well. Apart from Marcel and his team, who were the happiest people there? The two Atomic VIPs, who won the ‘Behind the Scenes’ with the Hirscher team and their man himself for the whole event…
The Planai is a mountain of fate and destiny for Marcel Hirscher and the stadium is his very own heroic arena. In 2012, he won the night race for the first time, but was unfairly subject to heavy psychological pressure, thanks to the so-called “straddling affair”. That the young 23-year old was able to cope with the enormous mental strain (he even needed Police protection by the Cobra) and won, was a skiing fairy tale that no-one thought would ever happen. Just like the skiing fairy tale, which happened only a few weeks later in the same place. In the World Cup final, Marcel Hirscher surprised everyone by skiing his way to 3rd place in the Super G and won his first of seven large Crystal Globes to-date. In 2013, the Atomic star excelled himself once again in a mentally demanding situation: before he joined the World Championship fray, the performance of the Austrian (ÖSV) team at their home World Championships was quite poor, and Marcel needed to correct it. Naturally, he collected three medals in three races, and became the Slalom World Champion for the first time in his own hero’s arena.
SCHLADMING: THE RACE TO CALIBRATE
Since then the skiing superstar Marcel Hirscher has been writing skiing history. Nevertheless, Schladming was still a turning point this time, at least a little bit. At the classic races in Wengen and Kitzbühel, the synchronization between Marcel’s material components wasn’t working as perfectly as normal in the first runs as they have done over nearly the last 10 years. Why not? Now there are nearly an endless number of possible answers to this question. He found the right inner boot in Kitzbühel, but then only had a day left to work on the other parameters, such as skis, bindings and boots and to set them up perfectly. After training at home in Annaberg the penny dropped. A set up of a few millimeters no normal skier would ever notice it. The collective intelligence in Marcel Hirscher’s team once again chose the right set up options from several million. Atomic Race Manager Christian Höflehner said, “As is so often the case with great steps in development, it’s so simple, that we need to keep it top secret, otherwise everybody will start making the same adjustments and the Skiing World Championships start in a week’s time.”
REDSTER: WORLD POWER SLALOM TEAM AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
We’re ready. Especially for the Slalom, where Atomic will have full power ready to start. Marcel Hirscher with a record lead of 1.21 seconds is the King of the Slalom again. Marco Schwarz with lots of potential to top his 5th place. Marc Digruber seventh, Feller was the only one really close to Marcel Hirscher in the first run, until his unfortunate departure. Höflehner: “Overall our Slalom team is performing extremely well. Blacky Schwarz will start the World Championships in the leaders group, which is important for him. Manu Feller regularly shows that he is fast and only needs two balanced runs.” Generally, the mood amongst the Atomic athletes just before the World Championships is great. “As this season has been really good for us, the ground speed is on track for everybody and the trust in the material is there. And that means that everything is possible for lots of athletes in every race, even at the World Championships.”
FABIENNE AND PATRICK WERE BACKSTAGE IN THE MARCEL TEAM
Just like Marcel Hirscher, the service team and technicians in his team, Christian Höflehner took a lot of time, despite the racing stress at the night race, to make two people extremely happy. The brother and sister, Patrick and Fabienne Meschuh from Upper Austria, were the Atomic winners who drew the lucky ticket of the “Things you can not buy” in the Marcel Hirscher magazine “Red Bulletin: Hero Edition”. The winners were given the latest Atomic Redster equipment, VIP tickets at the night race including luxurious hotel and an all-area pass and the virtually impossible: behind the scenes with the Marcel Hirscher team!
The fan dream of a lifetime came true for Fabienne and Patrick, at the most emotional race this winter. They met the superstar before the star numbers were drawn in the athletes’ zone backstage, were right in the thick of it during preparation, the race itself and the celebrations afterwards. The highlight of the day after Marcel mania was private skiing with the latest Redster equipment.
Next races in the World Cup: before the World Championships in Aare, the men are off to Garmisch (Downhill and GS) and the Ladies are off to Maribor (SLO) for the traditional technical races.