FEB 25, 2019
Race intelligence is about making the right decisions at the right moment, even if they are risky ones. Marcel Hirscher’s start in the Combined in Bansko was a risky decision (see Marco Schwarz, who suffered a serious knee injury after a questionable jump near the finish). But they were the right decisions and important: second place in the Combined, second place in the GS, Marcel has secured the small Crystal Globe in the GS early (for the sixth time in his career) and keeps the upper hand in the Overall World Cup a solid 490 points in the lead. Even more great news for the Atomic team with a double win in the Ladies Downhill in Crans Montana! Sofia Goggia won her first race since her comeback, ahead of Redster colleague Joana Haehlen. And because everything is so easy and going successfully for Sofia, the speed queen has signed up until after the Olympic Games in 2022. And it’s all been finalized already!
MEGA MARCEL: GLOBE N° 19 IN THE BAG – NEARLY 5 WINS AHEAD IN THE WORLD CUP
He doesn’t like calculating, and especially not probability. Marcel Hirscher’s principle is simple: ski, win, and calculate at the end of the race. In the city Slalom event in Stockholm he finalized the Slalom ranking for the season and secured his 18th World Cup Crystal Globe. In 2018 / 2019, Marcel has made skiing history again as the best Slalom skier in the world. That’s certain, even though there are still two more races to come.
That’s exactly the same in the Giant Slalom too: since racing in Bansko (2nd place missed a win by 4 hundredths of a second, as he lay in the snow for a few milliseconds) Marcel has already secured his 19th World Cup Crystal Globe in his second favorite discipline, the GS. In other words: this winter Marcel Hirscher was also the best Giant Slalom skier in the world for the sixth time in his life. And that’s also definite even though there are still two more races to come.
Is then the next logical result the eighth large Crystal Globe in a row for the Overall World Cup? “Only if there is no other mathematical possibility,” says Marcel. Anyway the 160 points from Bansko (after an excellent Slalom run in the Combined he skied his way to 2nd place) give him a very comfortable lead of 490 points. So the second racer in the World Cup would need nearly five World Cup wins in the remaining nine races this season, with Marcel not even winning a single point. Such a task certainly looks rather difficult from the pursuers’ point of view.
SPEED QUEEN SOFIA: BACK FOR GOOD UNTIL THE OLYMPICS 2022
If an athlete breaks her ankle just before the start of the season, then has a dream comeback before the FIS Ski World Championships with two second places, wins World Championship Silver and then directly after that her first World Cup race, then it’s clear who will set the pace in the Ladies speed races in the future: Sofia Goggia. In Crans Montana she won the Downhill, even though salt was strewn on the race course just before her, something that’s normally impossible. And talking about impossible: 2nd place for Atomic newcomer Joana Haehlen, in front of her Swiss home crowd, her first time on the World Cup podium, which she managed even with a torn cruciate ligament. Really fit athletes can do that!
Anyway Sofia Goggia, the undisputed speed queen is back for good. She’s extended her contract with until after the Olympic Games in 2022, as her great breakthrough in ski racing is also a tribute to the Redster support. The contract has already been signed with more magic moments to come. “That’s probably the happiest moment this weekend: as every manufacturer wants exceptional athletes like Sofia. And it’s great that she wants Atomic,” says Christian Höflehner, Global Race Manager, happily.
What’s next? The men are off to Kvitfjell for the Downhill and Super G; and the Ladies are off to Rosa Khuntor (Russia). After that it’s the technical competitions in Kranjska Gora and Spindleruv Mlyn before the World Cup heads off to Soldeu (Andorra) for the final week.