Hirscher earns 6th season victory
ADELBODEN, Switzerland – Marcel Hirscher was able to make the most out of the rough 2nd run conditions to win the Adelboden giant slalom, the first of 2015.
Hirscher had already won the last two Giant Slalom World Cup races held this season in Åre and Alta Badia and after further building up on his 0.55 seconds lead from the first run, he claimed his 6th season’s victory ahead of two youngsters – Alexis Pinturault and Henrik Kristoffersen. They were sitting in third and fourth place after the first run, almost a second behind Hirscher but with Neureuther struggling to find the right pace his second time down the Kuonisbergli they were both able to finish the race with a podium placement.
Still, once again this year Hirscher was in a league of his own, despite being the last racer to ski down the slope he was able to win with a big advantage – 1.13 seconds ahead of Pinturault and 1.28 seconds ahead of Kristoffersen.
“You see how warm it is and how everyone is sweating,” Hirscher said. “It was a pretty tough race, especially as due to the temperatures the slope was pretty bumpy and soft. But I have to say thank you to the Organisers, it’s unbelievable to ski a World Cup race in 15 degrees weather so in general I’m super happy. It was a tough fight, especially in the last 10 gates,” he continued.
After finishing 4th in the Adelboden GS last year and missing the Alta Badia podium by a mere 0.01 seconds to teammate Thomas Fanara last month, Pinturault couldn’t have been happier today with his second place.
“The second run was really though, it was long and turny and the visibility was not great, you could hardly see anything on the course. I just tried to ski well, think of my skis and finding the best line but I was almost surprised to see I was in the lead when I crossed the finish line,” Pinturault said.
Today the French team skied with tape on their helmets that read “Je suis Charlie”, as a sign of solidarity for the recent violent events in Paris.
“This is my way of honoring what has been happening in France over the past days, a way of showing my solidarity in this difficult moment in France,” Pinturault explained.
After a third place in last year’s Adelboden slalom, today Kristoffersen added a third place in the GS as well but more than the 60 points, Kristoffersen seemed excited about the boost of confidence today’s result gave him.
“It has been pretty tough so far this season in GS,” Kristoffersen said. “I had some DNFs, skied some bad races and overall I have been struggling even when I knew I had the speed. So my confidence definitely got a boost today, I am still far behind Marcel but in time I will get there,” he continued.
Kristoffersen has said before that he wants to become the best skier in the world, a title claimed the past three seasons by Hirscher.
“He is so good at the moment,” Kristoffersen said about Hirscher. “I want to beat him at some point but at the moment he is someone to look up to. It’s fun to ski against him and I have a lot to learn from him so it’s nice to have something to reach for. It took Marcel a bit of time to become the best in the world, he had a lot of DNFs before winning three Overalls in a row so all I have to do is keep on training and keep on working on becoming the best skier I can be.”
Conditions were not easy today as last night’s heavy rain and today’s warm temperatures impacted the snow and made it virtually impossible for higher numbers to earn a spot in the second run. Canadian Dustin Cook was the only racer with a bib outside the top 30 to qualify for the second run, he finished 22nd from bib number 34.
Sunday it’s slalom time in Adelboden and with the forecast predicting a drop in temperatures it might be another amazing race on the Kuonisbergli, don’t miss it!