OSLO – Slovakian Petra Vlhova and Austrian Marco Schwarz both claimed career-first city event victories at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Oslo (NOR) to kick off 2019 on New Year’s Day. Racing in the iconic ski sport venue of Holmenkollen with picturesque views and ideal conditions, the athletes battled through multiple challenging rounds to reach the top step of the podium.
For Schwarz, it was his first ever World Cup victory in any discipline. The technical specialist claimed the third podium of his career and the first in three seasons just before Christmas in Madonna di Campiglio, finishing second in the night slalom there. He bested Dave Ryding of Great Britain in the final at Oslo to secure his first win on the tour. Ryding’s result in second place matched his career-best finish and also the best result for a skier from Great Britain on the World Cup tour. Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland outdueled Swede Andre Myhrer in the small final to round out the podium in third place.
Vlhova, meanwhile, faced her technical rival and the Overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin in the ladies’ big final. The Slovakian’s cross-blocking technique provided the competitive advantage needed to secure her first-ever win in the discipline. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland bested Swede Anna Swenn Larsson to complete the ladies’ podium for the night.
The palpable excitement of the event made it a highlight of the holiday season as both tours now transition into the January racing block. The ladies and men will each contest a slalom race in Zagreb (CRO) on 5th and 6th January, respectively.