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19.12.2018

Another excellent Italian stage for Marcel Hirscher

Austria’s Marcel Hirscher enjoyed a couple of more Italian days in Alta Badia during the past weekend winning once more the always challenging giant slalom and the parallel GS set on the treacherous ‘Gran Risa’ run.

In fact Hirscher achieved a true demonstration in the giant slalom competition which took place by great weather conditions in front of happy crowd. He beat by more than two seconds the next racer, French veteran Thomas Fanara while another Frenchman, Alexis Pinturault, came in 3rd for his first podium of the season. Austria’s Manuel Feller was 4th ahead of USA’s Tommy Ford and Sweden’s Mats Olsson. Luca de Aliprandini was the best Italian in 7th place thanks his strong comeback in the final leg.

The following evening, Hirscher fought hard in the short and spectacular parallel GS race to finally enjoy his maiden victory in that kind of competition after beating France’s little-known Thibault Favrot from Strasbourg in the final. Alexis Pinturault beat previous winner Mats Olsson in the small final for 3rd place. Germany’s Stefan Luitz was a strong 5th while Aleksander Aamodt Kilde had another good result with his 7th place – the best for Norway after finishing 17th in Sunday’s giant slalom. This performance helped the downhill winner at Val Gardena to collect the ‘Dolomiten Trophy’ which is calculated on all four competitions in the past days.

Norway’s gate specialist Henrik Kristoffersen had a disappointing second run on Sunday as many other favorites such as Mats Olsson to finish a unhappy and also surprised 14th - 3,65 seconds behind the winner. On Monday both Henrik and Mats could not compete for victory in the final – Henrik was eliminated in the third round to finish 8th while Mats, the winner a year ago, was 4th .

“These have been two hard days for me but I am for sure delighted by those wins,” Hirscher told the press after the race. “I think I achieved one of my best ever giant slalom race on Sunday even though I didn’t feel so sure about my rhythm and it’s nice that I finally managed to win that parallel GS which is not such an attractive competition for me,” added the 29-year-old Austrian who joined Skiing Legend Annemarie Moser-Proell as a winner of 62 World Cup races. “It’s of course a big honour to be at her level, Annemarie is a huge star in Austria and it’s something special to equal her today,” he commented. In past winters, Hirscher already dominated two city events in Moscow, Russia, and Stockholm Sweden – a shorter and straighter kind of parallel race.

Asked about a possible explanation on his amazing season start – four wins so far in Levi, Finland, Val d’Isère, France and Alta Badia, and a second place at Beaver Creek, Colorado, Marcel Hirscher believes that his more relaxed attitude his now the key of his high level of performance.

“You know, ski racing is still my great passion but it’s no longer as vital as it used to be, I have reached all the main goals a racer can have at the start of his career. I am also enjoying a great private life,” he mentioned. “I surely trained very well in past months and my equipment is amazingly efficient on all conditions, but my mental attitude is different now. I feel sort of liberated, free to fully attack and move at my limits. It’s fun and exciting, I don’t need to win all the time, I don’t feel any pressure, just the desire to ski as fast as possible from top to bottom. If I ski out once, who cares?”

Hopefully Marcel Hirscher will again been moving on the spectacular ‘Gran Risa’ run next year in December 2019!