JAN 28, 2020
It’s a winter without major events, but definitely not a season short of highlights. Just in time for the perceived season’s climax the Redster stars step up their game. In the speed triple of Bansko Mikaela Shiffrin, who had not yet won a race in 2020, is back on top. Winning both the first downhill and the super-G, and coming in 4th in the second downhill, she extended her overall lead to an impressive 370 points. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is also still in the race for the big title with places 2 and 9 in the Kitzbühel super-G and downhill. And in slalom things are going better than ever: with his 2nd place Marco Schwarz missed his first post-comeback victory by only 0.12 seconds, while Lucas Braathen’s first-run lead and 4th-place finish were nothing but sensational. Although the young Norwegian wasn’t even meant to ski in the slalom World Cup this winter...
It’s not the first time that Atomic Race Manager Christian Höflehner’s predictions have become a reality. Just before the speed events in Bansko he stated: “Even if Mikaela might be missing her coolness at the moment, she’s able to change that any time.” And so it is: walking away from the weekend with two victories and a 4th place Mikaela Shiffrin ended her short period of not winning and extended her lead in the overall World Cup from 249 to 370 points. Now she can easily take a break and skip the speed races in Sotschi next weekend.
ALEKSANDER AAMODT KILDE’S THRILLING FIGHT FOR THE CRYSTAL BOWL
In the Kitzbühel super-G just 16 hundredths of a second separated Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from his first win after returning to Atomic. With his consistence he’s still in the race for the overall World Cup, even though his 9th place on the legendary “Streif” in Kitzbühel meant a small setback in terms of points. Race Manager Christian Höflehner: “He still has potential. The next tour stop is in Garmisch, where Aleksander celebrated his first World Cup victory four years ago.”
THE ATOMIC SLALOM TEAM AROUND BLACKY GETTING BETTER AND BETTER
Marco Schwarz was really close to winning his first race following his comeback – finishing the slalom classic of Kitzbühel in 2nd place, only 0.12 seconds behind. “Although neither the course nor the conditions are made for him,” says Christian Höflehner. “It’s great to see him catch up with the world’s best. And Manuel Feller is making extremely good progress, too.” In general, the Race Manager is happy with how the Atomic slalom team is getting ever stronger in the series of classic races in January. Nine Redster athletes qualified for the second run in Kitzbühel, where 19-year-old Lucas Braathen surprised everyone with bib no. 34: he skied the fastest time in the first run and showed great race intelligence in the second heat, ending up in 4th position. “He was meant to fully focus on the giant slalom this World Cup winter and gain more slalom experience in the Europa Cup. But since he switched to the Redster S9 less than a year ago, things have changed. Lucas is a winner type, he’s very mature for his age, in all respects. The fact that he did not overpower in the second run, but instead stayed calm and went for a top result, shows his race intelligence. Now the whole team is on fire for the night race in Schladming.”