ZAGREB, Croatia, – 3rd slalom win in a row, 4th win in Zagreb, 50th World Cup win. The figures speak for themselves. What Marcel Hirscher is achieving at the moment is outstanding and with his strength, his skills on the snow and his confidence, it will be hard to stop him. Last time he won three successive slaloms was back in 2012/13, he is the only man with more than one victory in Zagreb, and with 50 wins, he equaled Alberto Tomba in third place of all time.
Even though they couldn’t prevent him from winning in the slalom in Zagreb today, two athletes were pretty close. First of all, Austrian Michael Matt could claim a fifth podium in career. In the lead after the first run, Mario Matt’s little brother was able to fly over the ruts to limit his time loss in the second run and make the podium. With his second place in Oslo on the 1st January, it makes two second places within three days, and the next chance is coming up with another slalom in Adelboden on Sunday.
In third place, Henrik Kristoffersen had mixed feelings after his run. Even though he is happy about a third place, he couldn’t hide his disappointment due to his mistake on the flat part in the second run. Nevertheless, it’s a 7th podium placement for the Norwegian, who is now trailing Marcel Hirscher in second place of the Overall and slalom standings.
Shiffrin crowned snow queen in the SL in Zagreb
The first slalom of the year is held in Croatia, more precisely on Sljeme, the hill close to the city of Zagreb. In the absence of last year’s winner Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, the crown of the Snow Queen was to be awarded to another slalom skier.
In this discipline, Mikaela Shiffrin has been almost unbeatable, winning the two last races and finishing second in Levi. Zagreb was no different; even though Shiffrin had a “heard breaking experience” on this slope last season (she did not finish the first run). Her confidence is so big at the moment, which allows her to ski very aggressive and faster than everyone else. She just recorded a 28th slalom win, continuing a winning strike of 23 podiums in 24 participations in that discipline.
Switzerland’s slalom whiz Wendy Holdener finished the slalom in Zagreb on the second place, +1.59 behind Shiffrin. The alpine combined World Champion is in a great shape and skis at a very high level, earning her fourth podium this season. Her best result in Zagreb so far was a 15th position in back in 2013.
Frida Hansdotter rounded out the podium, +2.11 off the pace of the Snow Queen. She has been pretty constant in slalom this season, her worst result being a 5th place in Levi, claiming the 4th spot of the discipline standings. The Swede had claimed a podium in Zagreb before (2nd in 2013) but wasn’t able to wear the crown yet.
Kranjska Gora is the next stop for the ladies’ Tour for a giant slalom and a slalom on 6th-7th January. The Slovenian resort took over the races from Maribor, that was cancelled due to lack of snow.