JAN 20, 2020
Mikaela Shiffrin is an exceptional athlete in every aspect. Now that things aren’t running so smoothly it shows more than ever. She hasn’t been able to celebrate one of her “easy-peasy“ victories so far this year, even though she was really close to winning in Sestriere: in an ultra tight GS just one-hundredth of a second separated Mikaela’s 3rd place from the top of the podium; in the parallel giant slalom qualifier she skied the fastest time. It’s tighter than usual between the world’s best female technical ski racers – MIkaela might change that any time again, though.
Mikaela still has a commanding lead in the overall title race – 249 points ahead of Petra Vlhova. Except for not finishing the combination in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee and her 9th place in the parallel giant slalom in Sestriere, she’s captured the podium in every race in 2020, adding up to a total of 94 podiums and 64 victories in 173 World Cup races – a phenomenal achievement. In the newly begun decade she has not yet triumphed, and that shows, as Atomic Race Manager Christian Höflehner explains, “that victories cannot be taken for granted, although it might seem like that sometimes in Mikaela’s case. It also underlines her unbelievably consistent performance over the last couple of years.“ But above all, there is one thing Mikaela is demonstrating in these – for her – rather challenging times: her true class!
Even now, having lost the flow a bit, her speed is still amazing, as prove her 3rd place in the GS of Sestriere (defeated by only one-hundredth of a second) and her winning time in the parallel giant slalom qualifier. Plus: she always pays great respect to her contenders, too, and never loses focus. According to Höflehner “that’s what separates the greatest from the great: they always stay calm, even when things aren’t going according to plan.“ There’s a good chance that Mikaela Shiffrin, who competes in more races than any other female athlete, will take a short break after the races in Bansko.
ALEKSANDER AAMODT KILDE: BAD MISTAKES, GOOD POINTS
For Mikaela’s teammate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde taking a break is currently not an option, unless a slalom race is on. He’s keen not to miss a race in any other discipline, now that he’s having so much fun skiing on his Redster equipment. While two mistakes in the downhill and the combined downhill of Wengen eliminated his podium chances, he scored good points with places 6 and 8. Ahead of the Kitzbühel weekend he’s in 3rd position in the overall World Cup ranking. Race Manager Christian Höflehner’s conclusion after the Wengen weekend: “With Mauro Caviezel, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Niels Hintermann, and Daniel Danklmaier we had four Redster racers in the top 12 of the downhill. It’s just a small step onto the podium. Marco Schwarz missed the slalom podium by only 8 hundredths of a second, and Fabio Gstrein skied really well again, too. We’re on track and top results will follow.“