Back to back win for Hirscher in Zagreb
ZAGREB, Croatia – Hirscher wins again! As the first skier who managed to win the Slalom race on Zagreb’s Sljeme back to back, the Austrian keeps his perfect streak of placing on the podium in every single technical World Cup race he started over the Season. With a time of 1 minute, 56.17 seconds Hirsher left second placed Myhrer 0.57 seconds behind while Matt was just over a second off Hirscher’s pace finishing 1.09 behind his teammate.
“Its amazing, Myhrer was having an amazing run and I was watching t from the start so I decided to give it more then 100%. Zagreb is such an amazing race, so my second victory here is something special. The crowd was amazing, and this is one of my top three favorite World Cup races.”
Hirscher handled the rough course with outstanding elegance and skied smoothly through all the sections where skiers before him had troubles.
“I like to know exactly where the ruts are, I try to get as much information as I can from the coaches but when there are about three races left before me I try to tune everything out and focus on what I need to do in order to be fast. I knew that in the second run I needed void making any mistakes if I wanted to have a chance at finishing ahead of Myhrer. I really gave it my best, I always do and this year I really have been getting a lot back.”
Hirscher was full of praise for the Croatian race and the fans that kept cheering for all the skiers.
“I love coming to Zagreb, the atmosphere here is always amazing and it’s a pleasure to ski in front of so many people. Thank you for being such an amazing crowd! Last year Zagreb was a challenging race, because of all that went on with Ivica but this year I really felt loved by the crowd and both days I was here I really felt welcomed and I would like to thank everyone for that.” Hirscher said.
Myhrer was aiming for the victory but had to “settle” for a second place which made him happy.
“I’m happy with how I skied today, it was not easy and I am glad I skied my best and this second place feels really good. This is definitely a different kind of race where the crowd makes you fly down the course and being on the podium with this atmosphere really makes me happy,” second ranked Myrer said.
After a mistake in the first run that put him in fifth place, Mario Matt stepped it up in the second run and landed his first podium of the season.
“I somehow hit a gate at an angle in the first run, it then hit my ski and kicked me off balance,” Matt explained what happened during his run. “I am glad that I was able to regain it and my final time is still among the fastest guys and that gave me a shot at the podium in the second run. It was tough and I was lucky that I made it through the finish area the way I did and I am really happy.”
In front of over 14000 Croatian fans that cheered him all the way through both his runs, local favorite Ivica Kostelic finished in eight place, even though everyone was hoping he could finally walk home with the crown, a top 10 in always a good result.
On what turned out to be a thrilling race, we saw a podium made of skiers who have all been crowned in Zagreb before… the best of them – Marcel Hirscher, the only true Snow King Sljeme has had so far.
by Ana Jelusic