FEB 08, 2016
A bright Future. The trip to the Speed World Cup in South Korea not only paid off for Marcel Hirscher with a strong showing in the Super-G (7th place). Also the Atomic service crew was able to draw valuable conclusions with respect to Olympia 2018.
The present is inspired with a lot of confidence too, with the Redster aces competing for five crystal globes in the last third of the season.
The crystal candidates: Peter Fill (4th and 5th in Jeongseon) ranks second in the downhill standings right behind injured Aksel Lund Svindal. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (3rd in the Super-G standings behind Svindal and Andrew Weibrecht) as well as Marcel Hirscher (leader in the GS and overall rankings and second in the Slalom) are full of hope to score big time at the end of the season. „I think in the speed disciplines a super strong Kjetil Jansrud will be our main opponent“, said Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner. „In the Slalom it will be hard to stop Henrik Kristoffersen. But you know, everything is possible. It will be super exciting and we are happy to be still in the mix. We shall not get ahead of ourselves though and keep focusing on our work.“ Höflehner most notably was impressed with Marcel Hirscher’s performance in the downhill-like Super-G of Jeongseon and gave credit also to the prime job of the service crew led by Edi Unterberger and Thomas Graggaber. With 36 points for his 7th place finish the Atomic-hero was able to widen the gap in the overall rankings to 134 points. The remaining schedule is in Marcel‘s favor: Three Downhills, three Super-G’s (with Marcel competing in two of them), one combined event, five, maybe even six races in GS, three Slaloms and one City-event.
FACT-FINDING-MISSION PRODUCES VALUABLE RESULTS
What might be even more important than the 36 points for Marcel Hirscher is the knowledge he attained with respect to Olympia 2018: The practice on the GS-slopes („not too tough, but worthy of an Olympic run“), getting to know the procedures and transport routes and the need to make arrangements for calm nights. The Redster-Unit around Christian Höflehner is taking care of the rest: „We are right on target. Christoph Silbergasser was looking for ideal test tracks. I was checking various options for our headquarter and accomodation for our service crew. The support from our Atomic-Korea team has been significant. Thanks to the provision of a vehicle fleet we were able to shorten the travel time for our athletes considerably.“
ASIA‘S COLORADO A CHANCE FOR THE REDSTER-ROOKIES
The condition of the snow on the Olympic slopes makes the hearts of some Redster-racers leap for joy: „This dry, aggressive snow here reminds me a lot of the one in Colorado“, means Christian Höflehner. „And there Travis Ganong, whose bone bruise in the knee unfortunately is acute again, finished runner-up in the World Championships. Peter Fill also gets along really well and Aleksander Kilde is capable of anything.“ Behind the Atomic-Stars of today a terrific „next generation“ is ready to take Korea by storm in two year’s time. Manuel Feller with his swift legs might do it even in Gangnam style. Further on attention should be paid to slalom whiz kid Marco Schwarz, Andreas Sander, who equaled his all time-high in the Super-G with a 10th place finish in Jeongseon, Kostelic-heir Filip Zubcic (two Top-15’s this season in the GS), the Swiss hopefuls Thomas Tumler and Mauro Caviezel, the Austrian insider tips Mario Karelly and Daniel Danklmaier, the slalom shooting stars Katharina Huber and Katharina Gallhuber as well as their speed counterparts Mirjam Puchner and Stephanie Venier (with her 12th place finish in the Super-G of Garmisch on Sunday she managed her 5th Top-15 position this winter). And last but not least Ester Ledecka, who is aiming for history in Korea. The 20-year-old Snowboard-World Champion from the Czech Republic wants to battle for medals in both worlds (Snowboard and Alpine skiing). Her first attempts in the al-pine World Cup circuit looked promising last weekend in Garmisch: 24th in the downhill and 25th in the Super-G.