Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mattias Hargin Wins Kitzbühel (Amazing) Slalom

After a week focused almost entirely on speed, Sunday in Kitzbühel is all about the slalom on the Ganslern.
In the first run, home favorite and 2013 winner Marcel Hirscher treated the crowd to a perfect run which earned him the lead. But in the second run, Mattias Hargin who has been knocking on the door of a podium multiple times this season finally pulled off a perfect second run and went one to achieve his maiden victory. Last year’s winner Felix Neureuther was fifth after the first run but managed to step up his game in the second run to earn his 6th slalom podium of the season.
Hargin has been showing some strong skiing all season long and even won the first run at some races but until today he been unsuccessful in linking two good runs and earning a top position. Today finally everything fell into place and with an unbelievable second run he finally took home his first World Cup victory.
"Kitzbühel is such a cool place to have your first win, at the moment it’s still had to express with words how I feel", an almost shocked Hargin said after the victory.
"So far I have always tried to focus on skiing without making any mistakes but realized maybe that was not the way to win races. After seeing Felix’s second run in Wengen I realized I could and should risk more. Today I was able to change my mindset and went full on, it certainly paid off", Hargin said before adding "Finally!" and summarizing what most thought.
After straddling in last year’s Kitzbühel slalom, Hirscher was aiming for a second victory on the Ganslern but some minor mistakes in the second run proved just too costly. Nevertheless, 80 points in his pocket and yet another podium are far from disappointing in Hirscher’s mind.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling to finish 2nd in the Kitzbuehel so I am thankful for how it worked out", Hirscher said.
But more than about his run, Hirscher wanted to talk about Hargin’s.
"I really have to say congratulations to Matthias, his second run was probably one of the best runs I have ever seen. Attacking a very tough course the way Mattias did isn’t something you see every day", Hirscher said.
Neureuther was equally impressed with Hargin’s performance.
"Today Mattias showed that you could risk a lot on the course and I think he truly deserved this victory. Both Marcel and I skied a bit too technically while he charged all the way", Neureuther said. "This is one of the biggest slaloms of the year and to be on the podium here is always special. It was a tough course and there were tough conditions in some sections so overall I am happy with the end result", Neureuther added.

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