FEB 16, 2016
Supernatural Mika: Partial MCL tear, tibia plateau fracture, 64 days without a World Cup appearance. Can anybody get over this that easily? Yes, Mikaela Shiffrin can!
At her comeback in Crans Montana the Atomic star seamlessly continued where she left off last November: with a convincing Slalom victory. The Slalom queen is back on her throne!
“I knew my skiing in training was good but it was hard to judge how it would hold up against the other girls”, smiled Mikaela Shiffrin after her 18th World Cup victory (the 17th in a Slalom). “I watched them on TV but wasn’t sure about their actual pace - it’s hard to judge from the distance.“ The 20-year-old Redster rocket now needs only one more victory to go head-to-head with Tamara McKinney (total of 19 wins), to date the second most successful US-lady in Alpine history. Even more impressing: Shiffrin is undefeated in a Slalom since 15th of January 2015. During this period she was crowned World Champion and won six World Cup Slaloms.
MIKAELA SHIFFRIN’S BLIND FLIGHT BACK TO THE THRONE
The conditions in the finale couldn’t have been more challenging for the halftime leader in Crans Montana. A soft and breaking race slope mixed with bad visibility weren’t the kind of ingredients you look for after a two-month break from racing. “I stood at the top, looking at the start and I was thinking, ‘Oh it doesn’t look too bad.’ Then I closed my eyes for about a minute, visualizing the course, and then when I opened them again I was like, ‘Hey, where did the slope go?’ Some of the girls had really bad visibility. I had OK visibility, I was struggling to see but at least I could see a bit.“ In the end the „Lady in Red“ finished 0.45 seconds faster than her peers. “I’m very proud of that!” Also Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner rejoiced when he learnt about the sensational news on his way back from Tokyo. “We knew that Mikaela would be in good shape standing in the starting gates but we didn’t really expect her to win.” Shiffrin now is targeting the Super-G in Andorra in 11 days from today. “That depends how training goes”, said Mikaela, who can’t wait for her next endeavours.
“We are extremely happy to have her back on the circuit.”
MARCO SCHWARZ BIG IN JAPAN AND SOON-TO-BE IN GROUP 1
Sunday in Japan the new Slalom generation called attention on themselves once again. Marco Schwarz carved to his second podium of the season (3rd place) and will start in group 1 for the first time in Kranjska Gora. Marc Digruber (5th place) bettered again his best career result and Manuel Feller advanced to 13th place with the second-best time in the finale. “It’s great to see our young guns performing so well. Seems like our equipment is working great”, said Christian Höflehner, who is also convinced that Marcel Hirscher will be back to old strength in Hinterstoder. “The gate straddle doesn’t worry me – that’s part of the Slalom business. He now needs to focus on getting in shape for the four important GS in Hinterstoder and Kranjska Gora.”