JAN 05, 2018
The new Alpine year is only four days old, but the Redster race family already has three wins. A hundred points for Mikaela Shiffrin in Oslo, a further hundred for her and Marcel Hirscher on the Sljeme. There the sixth time overall World Cup winner knew how to enjoy his 4th Zagreb escapade: his 5th win of the season but particularly his 50th World Cup win means he has now caught up with Alberto Tomba in 3rd place on the best overall leader board.
It’s possible that Marcel Hirscher might prove a threat to the other Atomic legend, Hermann Maier (54 wins), before the start of the Winter Olympics. Especially if his hundredths of a second luck continues, just like on the Sljeme the 28 year old kept the competition from his Redster S9s at bay by 0.05 or 0.11 seconds. “Last winter it was the reverse. I never would have dreamed that these hundredths would come back to me.” Even though Marcel had treatment on his spine a few days before, he needed an unusually long time to get up to speed in the final. “On the top section it was awful, so I had to activate my attack mode,” which he managed splendidly. Christian Höflehner put it in a nutshell: “Marcel is simply phenomenal. Even if it’s close sometimes, in the end he still manages to win. I’m happy that we could support him in the challenging conditions on the second run with skis which develop a lot of thrust even on the flat”. In the end the World Cup leader (94 points in the lead) became the Snow Queen (sic!) for the fourth time.
“Last winter it was the reverse. I never would have dreamed that these hundredths would come back to me.”
The other Atomic slalom racers delivered a top team result in Marcel’s slipstream: 6 in the points’ standings, 5 in the Top 20. Manuel Feller came in (4th) his best result to-date in a World Cup run, after achieving the second best time in the final.
SKI QUEEN MIKAELA: NOW SHE’S GOT ANNEMARIE MOSER PRÖLL IN HER SIGHTS
On Wednesday the crowning ceremony started with Mikaela Shiffrin after her 3rd win in Zagreb. After the city event on the Holmenkollen the 22 year old won the 2nd Ladies race of the year with a convincing 1.59 second lead. Even more impressive: the Olympic winner has finished 23 of her last 24 slaloms on the podium. Only three World Cup icons can claim an even longer series on the podium (Stenmark: 36 out of 37 slalom races, Schneider 26 out of 27 slalom races, Annemarie Moser Pröll: 24 out of 25 downhill races). The momentous 571 point lead in the Overall World Cup allows us to plan resources more tactically for the Olympic Games. Christian Höflehner commented: “The only likely speed races which are planned for Mikaela are in Cortina in January.”
The young ÖSV Atomic girls also caused people to sit up and take notice in Zagreb: with 6th place (her best career result), Katharina Gallhuber (20) paved her way into the 1st starting group, Katharina Huber (22) had the fourth fastest time in the final. Julia Grünwald surprised us with her comeback with 15th place at the interim standings.
The next chances for Redster heroic deeds can be had in the technical races in Kranjska Gora (Ladies) and Adelboden (Mens) both on 6th and 7th January.