Kransjka Gora, Slovenia – Once again, challenging weather was awaiting the Audi FIS World Cup Tour in Kranjska Gora. Heavy wet snowfall covered the race track during the night, and more than 20 cm had to be pushed off early this morning. With a lot of water and salt, the race line turned hard and offered great conditions for the 9th slalom of the season.
The two best slalom skiers of the season are the ones that made the best out of it. Marcel Hirscher was the fastest in the first run and put young Henrik Kristoffersen under pressure for the slalom World Cup standings, as the Norwegian was only 131 points ahead in the standings and was 6th (+0.96) of the first run.
After winning both yesterday’s Giant Slalom and the season‘s World Cup standings in the discipline, Hirscher’s mind was completely released of any kind of pressure, and the Austrian could enjoy two great runs that offered him his 39 career win.
“It is a lot of fun,“ said Hirscher. „Most of the time, I’m always thinking during the skiing, ‘please not to straddle, please not to lose so much time,’ because I need as many points as possible. And today, it was just for fun. It was really great, just an amazing race.“
Thanks to his brilliant performances this season and by finishing second today, 21 years-young Henrik Kristoffersen claims the first globe of his career. The Norwegian, who won 7 slalom races and was out of the podium only once in this discipline (7th in Yuzawa Naeba), is overwelmehd by this amazing season, but the risk that Marcel could take him away this globe preoccupied him.
“This is maybe the first time in a really long time I had to work really hard with myself and I felt the pressure a little bit,“ said Kristoffersen. „I didn’t feel the pressure from the outside, but from myself. You kind of have to try and forget about the globe a little bit, forget about the slalom standings, because the most important thing is the skiing.“
Italian Stefano Gross was 4th after the first run and could keep up with the Hirscher and Kristoffersen in the second run and earned his 3rd podium of the season after being third in Wengen and Stockholm.
Kranjska Gora was the last tech week-end of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour before the finals in St. Moritz. The speed teams are now heading to Kvitfjell for a Super-G and a Downhill, and the whole Tour will then get together in St. Moritz.