Campiglio night crowns a star: Marco Schwarz takes the throne

3Tre’s 70th edition has been dominated by the formidable Austrian, the ultimate all-rounder in today’s alpine skiing, who, as of this evening, tops the overall World Cup standings. Leading after the first run, Clement Noel had to settle for second place, with Dave Ryding making a comeback for third.

It was December 22, 2015, when the 3Tre and Madonna di Campiglio first met a young Austrian named Marco Schwarz, who, amidst the challenge between Henrik Kristoffersen (winner) and Marcel Hirscher (runner-up), claimed his first career podium. Three years later, it was only Daniel Yule who denied him the joy on the Canalone Miramonti, during the first of his magical evenings in Trentino.

On Friday, December 22, 2023, Schwarz's pursuit has finally ended, not just for the 3Tre honors: indeed, since 2015, the 28-year-old from Villach has emerged as the most versatile of athletes on the global alpine skiing scene, able to compete for success in all disciplines, and notably, for the World Cup Crystal Globe.

Just days ago, Marcel Hirscher himself named him as Marco Odermatt's fiercest rival for the Crystal Globe: how it will end is too early to say, but for sure, Marco Schwarz will be celebrating Christmas as the World Cup leader.

In an illuminated and bubbling Madonna di Campiglio, filled with the enthusiasm of 15,200 spectators on the Canalone Miramonti, Schwarz built his success in the second run, after finishing sixth in the first, exactly half a second behind Clement Noel. The Austrian triumphed with a flawless run on the rhythmic but treacherous course set by Swiss coach Joris, finding the perfect line in the last gates to halt the comeback of Dave Ryding, the 37-year-old Brit who climbed from 15th in the first run to third on the podium, his first in Madonna (+0.39).

The final hurdle for Schwarz was the Olympic champion Noel, who started with a 37-hundredths margin but failed to replicate his first descent's performance on the steepest part, ultimately settling for second place (+0.25) and having to postpone his time for glory on the Canalone Miramonti.

As usual, the Campiglio crowd had the privilege of witnessing a race decided on the file line, as evidenced by the mere 11 hundredths that separated third from eighth place. Just missing the podium were Norway's Timon Haugan (+0.41), Austria's Manuel Feller (+0.43), Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen (+0.44), who was less brilliant than usual on his favored slope, Switzerland's Loic Meillard (+0.47), and Norway's Atle Lie McGrath (+0.52).

A slip in the second run extinguished the reigning champion Daniel Yule's dreams of glory, while the Italian team failed to reward the warmth of the great crowd with a memorable performance. The sole finisher was Alex Vinatzer, 22nd (+1.70) after a largely ineffective second run, while a slide on the bump at the end of the steep section ended the other Italian qualified for the second run, Trentino's Stefano Gross.

Norway’s Alexander Steen Olsen (born in 2001) was the winner of the Renato Valentini Trophy, presented to the youngest finisher of the 3Tre slalom.

Lorenzo Conci, President of the 3Tre Committee, expressed great satisfaction with a 70th edition that lived up to the expectations of the audience and fans. "We are delighted to have celebrated such an important anniversary in such a beautiful and heartfelt way. We witnessed a great race on a fantastic slope, where the world's best performers could express their best, rewarding the passion of the team that makes an event like the 3Tre possible. We felt the enthusiasm of an amazing crowd, which tonight filled not only the Canalone Miramonti but all the streets of Madonna di Campiglio in the most beautiful way. Our partners, both longstanding and new, have contributed significantly to this atmosphere, working with us to ensure that the 3Tre continues to grow and evolve towards its next 70 years of history."

Photo credits: Pentaphoto