DEC 04, 2017
Mikaela Shiffrin and Marcel Hirscher have added another chapter to the heroic story of their alpine racing career. Both Atomic icons won momentous races in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek: at her fourth attempt Mikaela won her 1st World Cup downhill and Marcel returned to the podium as a winner 107 days after breaking his ankle.
The Atomic service crew, the trainer team and naturally Marcel himself had all been working flat out since Tuesday to minimise the training deficit with the new giant slalom material. Race Manager Christian Höflehner explained: “Sometimes all our available manpower was working”. With increasing success: by the end of the final training session on Saturday the initial 1.5 to 2 second deficit had already disappeared, as Marcel dominated the competition from Italy and Slovenia. “This made it clear, that he would be able to ski for one of the top places again. That it was enough to win; this was thanks to Marcel’s willingness to innovate."
“In the final he put on skis which he had only used just for skiing on the slopes up until then. A new product from our idea workshop, a small experiment which really paid off.”
Marcel attributed two factors to his compelling race to catch up: “a super team and lots of experience. With the new skis we took a big risk.” His third giant slalom win in Beaver Creek (with 88 hundredths a clear one at that) has repercussions: with 46 World Cup wins he has now equalised Marc Girardelli’s record and with 23 First places in giant slalom he has caught up with Michael von Grünigen. Cross-seasons he is still the World Cup reigning champion (including World Championships) with five wins now in this discipline. The Redster giant slalom team also demonstrated they are in great shape: Manuel Feller (4th) and Filip Zubcic (8th) both equalled their best World Cup result to-date.
NEO SPEED QUEEN MIKAELA EQUALS BODE MILLER
The Atomic teamwork also led to a historical victory in Lake Louise as well. Mikaela Shiffrin raced to 3rd place in her 3rd World Cup downhill to-date on Friday on her brand colleague’s, Mauro Caviezel, skis and won her fourth race on Saturday! “After a skiing mistake I nearly gave the safety net a ‘High Five,’” the World Cup leader explained (who is now 174 points in the lead), and now leading the downhill ranking as well. “It’s great that the service crew works so well together. A day that we will remember for a long time”. Christian Höflehner alluded that Mikaela is now “only” missing a Super G win, to be able to show a win in all disciplines, as only the 7th World Cup female skier ever in history. Will it be possible to fill this gap this weekend in St. Moritz? Possibly. The Shiffrin clan will only be able to decide about the other races once they arrive in Europe. One thing is certain: World Cup success number 33 notched Mikaela up to the same level as Bode Miller. And: with snowboard Olympic winner Ester Ledecka (CZE) 7th in the 2nd run) and Breezy Johnson (USA) 10th in the 1st run) two other Redster girls achieved their all-time best results to-date.
The next World Cup events: from Friday in St. Moritz (Ladies / one combined, two Super Gs), from Saturday in Val d’Isère (Mens / giant slalom and slalom).