DEC 11, 2017
After his broken ankle, races N° 3 and 4 ended with a win and 3rd place for the Redster superstar Marcel Hirscher. The defending world champion and his team skilfully kept their vision even in the snowstorm in Val d’Isère. A change of equipment between the two slalom runs, another trick, was the magic touch for World Cup victory number 47.
On the Face de Bellevarde Marcel was 55 hundredths of a second down in 8th place after the first run. Not a lot, at least for someone like him. After a short break in the hotel Team Hirscher started to turn it around. Marcel: “We analysed the findings from the video material and the 1st run and drew the right conclusions from them. In the final the equipment was incredible and I also skied better as well”.
Atomic Race Director Christian Höflehner explained the importance of these spontaneous changes: “Marcel’s legs haven’t had as much training this season which makes it difficult for him to say which skis are right for him in the respective conditions. For the final he chose a softer, smoother variant, which provided more stability. This enabled him to makes his turns perfectly and cleanly, without risking too much. In these conditions having ’racing rockets’ under your feet won’t help you if you’re only fighting to keep control of your skis all the time”. After half-time and 3rd place on Saturday in the giant slalom, the 110th podium place from 207 career races would nearly have meant 1st place in the World Cup interim classification. After 8 races this season Marcel is only 11 points off the leader’s position.
MANUEL FELLER: THE FASTEST MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN – BUT NOT OVER THE FINISHING LINE
In the wake of the World Cup champion Hirscher the Redster team colleagues achieved remarkable partial success. Marco Schwarz (on Saturday 17th place his best all time high in the giant slalom) proved himself with the best time in the 2nd run and in the slalom came in 9th place behind team colleague Matthias Hargin. Höflehner: “I hope that this was a key experience for Marco so that he has the courage to attack more in the future. I felt really sorry for Manuel Feller again, who was the fastest man on the mountain today, but didn’t appear in the results list, at least not there where he belongs, namely right up among the top rankings”.
After the bad weekend weather in St. Moritz the Atomic figurehead Mikaela Shiffrin is now having up to 4 days technical training in Trysil, Norway. Christian Höflehner: “She wants to make the most of the training conditions which are currently better there than in mid-Europe and two service colleagues are accompanying her”.
Whether the world-cup leader will compete in the speed races in Val d’Isère (downhill on Saturday, super G on Sunday) will be decided at the last minute. The men are heading to Gröden to fight for points in the super G on Friday, downhill on Saturday and Alta Badia giant slalom on Sunday and parallel giant slalom on Monday.