ALTA BADIA, Italy – Marcel Hirscher is the winner of the Slalom in Alta Badia. With a perfect second run, the young Austrian held onto his leading position from the first run and won the race. With a time of 1 minute, 47.16 seconds, he was 0.56 seconds faster than Giuliano Razzoli in second and .60 ahead of Felix Neureuther who rounded the podium.
Hirscher is having an amazing season so far- he left Beaver Creek with a first and second place in Giant Slalom and a third place in Slalom. Today he proved to be fast enough to once again take the top spot on the podium. With the 100 points he got today, he took over the Overall lead, nine points in front of Svindal.
“I had a perfect run,” was the first thing Hirscher said. “I really had no idea I was skiing this fast. I couldn’t be happier about today. I was having a great season so far already this Slalom victory just adds to that. Three podiums already and the season just started, this whole thing is just amazing.”
Giuliano Razzoli suffered a shoulder injury before the Beaver Creek Slalom, and although he decided to give it a shot and start the race, a 26th place wasn’t really satisfactory for the Italian. Today, Razzoli gave himself the best possible birthday present. The Italian Slalom star turned 27 on Sunday and said this podium was all he could have wished for.
“In the last few days training felt good, I could feel I was getting back in shape so today I just told myself- go for it and let’s see what comes from it. I have been struggling so much this past month, but I am glad all the time spent doing therapy for my shoulders paid off today.”
Felix Neureuther was coming into Alta Badia with a 10th place from the opening Slalom in Beaver Creek, but due to some injuries he managed to only have a couple of training days.
“It was a beautiful race for me today in Alta Badia,” Neureuther said. “It was not easy for me, and this third place is like a victory for me. I’ve been injured for so long, I have some three days of training before this race, to be on the podium means so much to me.”
For the second time this season, Patrick Thaler was the fastest man of the second time. After an amazing and somewhat unexpected seventh place in Beaver Creek, Thaler moved from 26th into seventh place in Alta Badia. After struggling through last season, he was considering retirement, didn’t make it into the team for this season and things where not looking great for the 33 years old Slalom specialist. Than this season something changed, he skied the run of a lifetime in the Beaver Creek Slalom, winning the second run and getting a huge confidence boost.
“I was really close to wrapping up my career after last season,” a smiling Thaler said. “Than, this year first Beaver and now this… I could really get used to standing in the leaders box. In the top section I didn’t feel as if I was skiing really well, I kept getting on the inside ski. It was amazing to see I was so far ahead when I crossed the finish line. Going from 26th to seventh is more than I could have wished for.”
With Blardone winning the Giant Slalom race, Razzoli second and a total of four skiers in the top 10 Italy certainly made a statement in front of the home crowd.
Not much time to rest for the man, after some intense days of racing in Italy, the Tour is moving onto Flachau. A night race is scheduled on the 21st and after that everyone can head home for a short Christmas break.
Check out the complete results here.