Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wendy Holdener and Marcel Hirscher Wins Stockholm City Event

The Audi FIS World Cup City Event in Stockholm provided countless fireworks as the top 16 men and ladies’ battled it out on the slalom course on Hammarby hill overlooking the city. In the end, Marcel Hirscher (AUT) and Wendy Holdener (SUI) came away with the crowns, but host Sweden could hold its head high after an excellent performance.
It was almost a fairytale finish for the first-time World Cup venue as the Swedes pushed through the preliminary rounds and were in prime position to win both the men’s and ladies’ races when the semi-finals arrived.
The Swedes placed two ladies in the semi-finals with Frida Hansdotter and Maria Pietilae-Holmner both making the final four. But Swiss sensation Wendy Holdener played the role of spoiler in the Big Final, edging Hansdotter. It was Holdener’s first-ever World Cup victory. Pietilae-Holmner fared better in the Small Final as she earned the podium place after topping Norwegian Nina Loeseth.
"I love the atmosphere", said a happy Holdener after the race. "It's in the city with a lot of people and it's crazy, you have to go up and down and up and down and you go in a hurry and I like that".
On the men’s side, Marcel Hirscher was solid throughout a competition that saw several surprises. The first major upset came in the first round as current slalom World Cup leader Henrik Kristoffersen fell at the hands of his own teammate and speed specialist Kjetil Jansrud. City Event expert Felix Neureuther also failed to make the semi-finals, while Russian Alexander Khoroshilov, together with Swede Andre Myhrer were pleasant surprises in the final four.
Myhrer made it through to the finals after dispatching Khoroshilov in the semi-finals and the nearly 7,000 fans were clearly backing their countryman. But Hisrsher’s consistency was simply too much for the Swede to overcome, although the fans seemed happy with the silver lining for Myhrer.
At the end of the day, the Swedes can boast of a massive success for the City Event both on and off the slope. With three athletes on the podium, the results were ideal, while the atmosphere and the race conditions were perfect in Sweden’s capital city.
"The people are amazing and it's so close to the city. Usually people have to drive,two or three hours to get to a' ski race. So now here, it is perfect. We are where the people are and we can bring skiing a bit closer", said Hirscher after his victory.

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