Flachau, Austria – Second after the opening run, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia gave it her all and cruised to a second consecutive slalom victory this week. She was the fastest of the second run to finish in an aggregate time of 1:49.99 ahead of Sweden’s Frida Hasdotter (+0.20) and her team-mate Petra Vlhova (+0.53).
Before this successful week, Velez Zuzulova last topped the podium in January 2013. The 31-year-old admitted she was happy she didn’t have to wait another three years.
“It’s a dream week,” Zuzulova said with a big smile. “For the first victory on Tuesday, I had to wait a long time. For the second one, only two days. But now I am happy that there is a short break because this is the kind of stuff I am not living every day. It cost me a lot of energy. A lot of emotions. So, it will be nice that I can go home a little bit and take in new energy for the next race.”
With Petra Vlova’s victory in December at Are, Slovakia has now recorded a total of three wins this campaign. That was the first time of the season that both Slovakian racers were on the podium together.
“We are making history from the beginning of the season, it’s not just today, so for sure it’s amazing,” Zuzulova commented. “You can see that there are many Slovakians here. We will have the World Cup in Slovakia and the people from Slovakian TV just told us we are beating even ice hockey. The people are watching in Slovakia. It’s really something amazing because the ice hockey is the sport number one in Slovakia, and now its maybe skiing.”
With this sixth podium finish out of seven slalom races this season, Frida Hansdotter extended her lead in the slalom standings and sits now 85 points clear of the winner of the day at the top of the table with 505 points.
“Night events are so much fun,” said Hansdotter. “It’s such a nice atmosphere and it’s so fun to race when you see all the people down here cheering for you, so I love this race and delighted to be on the podium again today.”
Fifth after the first run, Petra Vlhova did well in the second run and moved up to third place to join her team-mate.
“Two girls from Slovakia, a small country, together on the podium is just amazing,” concluded Vlhova at the press conference.
The World Cup stays in Flachau for the sixth giant slalom of the season on Sunday.