Neureuther wins his second race of the season
WENGEN, Switzerland – First things first – Happy World Snow Day!
Now back to ski racing business – Felix Neureuther found a perfect rhythm down the second run of the men’s Slalom in Wengen to land his second victory of the season. The Germen, who was sitting in second place after the first run, only 0.05 seconds behind Hirscher risked it all in the second and walked away wit a victory.
Hirscher who was leading in the first run, skied a fantastic top section before risking it just a little bit too much, making a mistake and finishing in second place, 0.21 seconds behind. In third place, Ivica Kostelic crossed the finish line with a combined time 0.25 slower then the winning one.
“It’s unreal for me, I had an amazing day and it’s always a dream for a slalom skier to win in Wengen and today my dream come true,” Heureuther said. “I am also very happy that I beat Marcel today, he is the man to beat this season and today I managed to do that. This victory is also really important for me as it comes as a great boost of confidence before the World Championships in Schladming. It’s good for me and for the other racers to realize Marcel is actually beatable.”
Marcel Hirscher has won the last three slalom races on the men's World Cup tour and after the first run was in a great position to win for the fourth time but pushing hard cost the Austrian one too many mistakes which put him in second place.
“It was a difficult race for me, my split times were good and I decided to give it full gas on the steep. I ended up risking too much in the next section and I lost 2 tenths in that last part. I like to be at the top so I always give it my best shot, sometimes it pays back well and sometimes it costs me a mistake like today. But in the end, there are places where I am definitely more confident and solid then I feel in Wengen so I am happy with this second place.”
Entering the weekend, Kostelic had 10 career World Cup podiums in Wengen in all disciplines, one short of the men's World Cup record of 11 podiums at a single venue, held by Stenmark (Madonna di Campiglio), Marc Girardelli (Kitzbühel) and Didier Cuche (Kitzbühel). After equaling the record with his podium in Friday’s Super Combined, with today’s result he broke the record.
“I am very proud of what I achieved today, I really wanted to break this record. I have so many successes on this hill and I felt good about my skiing, this morning when leaving the hotel my phisio told me – this day is going into history, and I got goose bumps. This podium means so much more then a simple podium to me, when an athlete surpasses those people who have been an example for him then that becomes something really special.
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by Ana Jelusic