Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins in Madonna di Campiglio

Madonna di Campiglio hosted the first Audi FIS Ski World Cup night slalom of the season tonight. Despite the lack of snow in Europe, the organisers have put together a hard and grippy race slope. Henrik Kristoffersen wins today in Madonna di Campiglio by an impressive 1.25 seconds over Marcel Hirscher. Rounding out the podium in third, 1.59 seconds back, was Austrian Marco Schwarz.
With Kristoffersen’s win today, the Attacking Vikings – including Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud as well – have combined to give Norway victories in eight of the 12 men’s World Cup races contested so far this season.
Warm temperatures in the Dolomites and all of Central Europe have prevented many of the slopes from being prepared to their normal sheet of ice surface. Both of today’s runs saw the course break down with the warmer temperatures providing rougher conditions for later runners.
"It was so bumpy. It was breaking through a little bit on the steep part", Kristoffersen explained. "I had a few close calls, just like in Val d’Isere, but that’s the way it is in alpine skiing, I’d rather be on the limit. Now, I’m skiing so good that I can stay on my skis being on the limit and it’s perfect".
Hirscher, who made an uncharacteristic first round exit in the parallel, admitted that Kristoffersen is in a league of his own in slalom at the moment, and may soon challenge him for dominance in GS.
"Yes, I’m impressed with his skiing, but I’m not surprised that he is dominating at the moment in slalom, we have seen that already in Val d’Isere", he said. "There is no way at the moment if he is making no mistakes to beat him. He is the man to beat at the moment, definitely in slalom, and maybe in two months as well in GS".
For Schwarz who started with bib 33, it has been a steep learning curve so far on the World Cup. His first top-30 results came in Val d’Isere only 10 days ago where he finished 18th in the slalom and 19th in the GS. Still a junior, Schwarz could be the next great Austrian slalom star.
"Unbelievable. My second run was really good, no mistakes and third place, cool thing", an excited Schwarz told reporters. "In Val d’Isere, I made my first World Cup points with 18th place, and now I am on the podium. It’s so cool, it was a great race".

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