Hat-Trick for Kristoffersen at the Night Race
The slalom highlight of the season gathered over 50‘000 spectators in Schladming for the 20th edition of the traditional Night Race. The event concludes the “slalom month” and Henrik Kristoffersen gets away with another win, the 5th this season. Not far behind, Marcel Hirscher finishes second and Alexander Khoroshilov 3rd.
In the lead after first run, and yet to be defeated when in this position, Kristoffersen was the favourite for a third win in Schladming. Despite an unsettled second run, where he clocked only the 7th time, last year’s globe winner was able to raise up the level and cross the finish line as a three times winner at the Night Race in Schladming, a feat only achieved by Benjamin Raich (4 wins) so far. This win is even more important for the Norwegian, as he skied out for the first time in 21 slaloms in Kitzbuehel two days ago.
“I actually did not know that the finish bridge lights up green when you're in front and red when you're behind. My teammate Sebastian (Foss-Solevaag) told me this summer. Before the second run, I was like, 'Don't look at it! Don't look at it!' I came through the last split and was like, 'I gotta look! No! it's red, I gotta go!' So I was a little stressed, but I think I charged it at the bottom there so it was pretty good."
For the 9th time this season, second place goes to Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian attacked the second run and claimed the best time in every second split to end up with a solid lead. However, even if the gap between the two slalom dominators is getting smaller, Hirscher had the feeling that it would be enough for the win.
"I knew it exactly when I crossed the finish line that the last fifteen gates were not good. I was too shy, not enough to go one-hundred percent of risk through the last fifteen gates. It's my personal mistake, but better eighty points in the books than zero points for today. I'm getting closer to Henrik, that it good and he deserved it anyways and skied excellent."
Alexander Khoroshilov claims another podium placement, the 9th in career and the 3rd this season. The winner of the Night Race 2015 has a special story with this hill and had a delay in his summer preparation, so he is particularly happy to be on the podium again here.
"I really love this hill. It's almost for me like a home race because we are spending a lot of time here and in Reiteralm so I really feel like it's at home. The crowd here gives you so much energy while you ski down, it's awesome. Before the first World Cup, I was a little bit injured so I started to ski pretty late before Levi -- two or three days -- and then I started to train a little bit with Dave (Ryding) and we started to push each other and then I could see how fast I am."
Next stop for the men’s World Cup will be Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, where two downhills (Friday and Saturday) and a giant slalom (Sunday) are scheduled between 27th and 29th January.