Neureuther makes it a victory in Madonna di Campiglio
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy – In Monday’s first night slalom of the year, German Felix Neureuther earned his first victory of the season after successfully defending his lead from the first run. With an outstanding second run, Neureuther not only held tight to the advantage made in the first run but increased it to win on the Canalone Miramonti with a 0.82 seconds advantage on teammate Fritz Dopfer and 0.86 seconds on Sweden’s Jens Byggmark.
Neureuther seemed to have some unfinished business in Madonna di Campiglio as during the last of the race two years ago he finished in second place.
“Today was just amazing, I finished second here last time and than recently in Are I was leading the first run but didn’t manage to hold on to it so now I just wanted to do it perfectly. I had a really good feeling; I just wanted to ski smoothly. That was my plan and it worked pretty well,” Neureuther explained his game plan after the first run.
And he certainly did it perfectly, as while many skiers struggled with the ruts he skied a perfectly clean second run.
“It was rough in some gates but the light was really good so you could see al the bumps. With this warm weather the guys here did an unbelievable job, the slope was in a good shape, it was so warm all day but conditions generally held up,” he explained.
Neureuther and Dopfer in first and second place is a picture seen already last year in Kranjska Gora and while Dopfer started the season with a great second place in the giant slalom in Soelden he has been eager for a big result in slalom as well.
“It was an amazing day, to once again repeat what we did last year in Kranjska Gora is something special. Tonight is also my second podium of the season for so I am really happy. I had some not so good races recently but after today I’m feeling really comfortable again. It’s nice to know I am in good shape in slalom too,” Dopfer said.
Jens Byggmark showed he was well recovered from his last season’s knee injury by putting down two strong runs and achieving his first podium after 2012.
“It feels fantastic to be back, it’s tough recovering from an injury and you spend a lot of time thinking but you still never know how things will turn out. I still had some pain in my knee this year so today’s result is simply great and it shows that the decisions I have made over the past year have paid off,” Byggmark stated after the race.
With tonight’s slalom, the pre-Christmas Italian tour wraps up for a few days to allow most skiers to head home and spend a few day with their families before kicking back into gear for the next race and last race of 2014, the Santa Caterina Valfurva downhill scheduled on December 28th 2014.