Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Marcel Hirscher Wins First Slalom of 2016 in Santa Caterina

The 3rd slalom of the season ended being extremely thrilling with Marcel Hirscher winning +0.21 ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen and +0.32 ahead of Alexander Khoroshilov. Santa Caterina Valfurva, who took over the cancelled Zagreb races, can look back to a successful maiden men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom.
Marcel Hirscher is writing history today, since he claimed his 17th slalom World Cup win! This performance places him in 3rd position of all-time slalom wins, behind Alberto Tomba (35) and Ingemar Stenmark (40). But the Austrian is not interested in records yet "it’s for retired skiers", all that matters is skiing: "Fighting, fighting, fighting. It was very challenging especially physically it was a very hard race for all of us, and you know, if the terrain is more flat, as we have seen today, you have to push it harder and harder. Usually, we are skiing more on the steep part, so there it is the most important thing that you are skiing smooth and technically brilliant, but today you have to push it as hard as you can”.
Even though he couldn’t close the gap to the leader’s position, Kristoffersen is satisfied with his runs: "I’m pretty happy with today. To have two wins and one second in the first three races of the season is really good. I’m skiing good at the moment". Especially since he knows that this kind of slope is not ideal for him: "Usually its either steep or terrain or flat, but here it’s right in between steep and flat, and you really don’t know if you should push it or be smart and I’ve struggled on these kinds of hills in the past".
Last season’s Schladming winner skied a very solid first run and showed that he is comfortable on that kind of race track: "I didn’t lose much, so I was just a little bit slower than Marcel and Henrik, and a little bit faster than the others. The slope, was perfect. I really would like to race one more time here". The Russian is pretty confident about the rest of the season and looks forward to the January races: "This year, I started a little bit slower. I was 8th, 12th, but we work to improve every time. It’s not like I’m always constant, so we work on this, this is how it works here. We have five races in January, I will really enjoy this month".

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