Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Wonder" Marcel Hirscher Wins (also) Slalom in Åre


Second after the opening run, Austria's Marcel Hirscher put everything on the line to take the lead in the second and watched Germany's Felix Neureuther fail to match his time. Hirscher clinched his second win of the week at Åre in a combined time of 1:40.37, just a mere 0.10 seconds faster than the German. In third place, Russia's Alexander Khoroshilov raced to his first career World Cup podium.
As part of a strong showing by the Swedish team that placed six racers in the second run, Mattias Hargin, Axel Baeck and Calle Lindh finished respectively fourth, fifth and sixth.
Earning his 26th World Cup victory and the 100 points that come with it, Marcel Hirscher leads now the overall standings with 440 points, 28 points more than Kjetil Jansrud.
"I am super happy", said Hirscher. "Today I have been for sure a bit of a lucky guy, because I am only one tenth ahead of Felix and Alexander isn't too far either. Overall it's been a super weekend".
Winner of the first Slalom race of the season in Levi, Henrik Kristoffersen skied off the course early in the first run today, which allows Marcel Hirscher to take the slalom red bib back home.
"It doesn't really matter to have the red bib at this stage of the season", said Hirscher. "It is for sure more interesting to have it at the end, but it is nice to have it now".
Felix Neureuther, who battled a back injury for the better part of the offseason and finished third in the opening Slalom World Cup race in Levi, showed with today's performance that he was close to his best level.
"It was a very good race for me", he admitted. "I am very close to Marcel. I just need some more training to get in a better shape. This will be my focus now until Madonna and new year. I should be at my best in January I think".
Alexander Khoroshilov, who equalled his personal best in Levi with a 8th place, became the first Russian skier on Sunday to make a World Cup podium since 1981.
"I was really happy about my results in Levi, but today this is unbelievable", said the 30-year-old. "I was really surprised to see the gap between me and Matthias Hargin, once I crossed the finish line".

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