Saalbach-Hinterglemm, site of the men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup technical races earlier this season in December, closed out the winter by hosting the Austrian National Championships from 21st-24th March 2019. Men and women contested the full assortment of downhill, super-G, giant slalom, and slalom races in warm temperatures but with quality conditions where familiar faces and newcomers alike grabbed podium results.
Youngster Lisa Grill, the 18-year-old Junior National Champion and World Juniors bronze medalist, won the ladies' downhill for her career-first Austrian title in a tight race. Christina Ager, who led the first training run and posted three top-10 World Cup finishes this season, sustained a torn ACL in her right knee during training – she has already undergone a surgical repair of the injury. In the men's race, Manual Traninger also parlayed his World Juniors bronze medal into an Austrian title by besting Daniel Danklmaier, the surprise fifth-place finisher in this year's edition of the iconic World Cup Hahnenkamm downhill, by 0.86 seconds.
In the super-G, 2018 European Cup downhill title winner Ariane Raedler proved fastest for the women while Christoph Krenn narrowly edged out Niklas Koeck for the win by a slim 0.06 seconds. It was Krenn's first National Championships podium and title that came on the heels of his career-best season after posting a sixth-place finish in the Beaver Creek World Cup super-G.
The ladies' technical races were dominated by World Cup regular Katharina Liensberger who swept both the giant slalom and slalom titles ahead of Katharina Truppe. "This whole season was a huge step forward – I improved in both giant slalom and in slalom, so finishing the season [like this] is a great ending," said Liensberger after winning her first national titles.
Sam Maes of Belgium narrowly edged out Roland Leitinger and Johannes Strolz in the men's giant slalom by just 0.03 seconds. So Leitinger and Strolz, tied as the top Austrians in the race, jointly shared the national title. In the final tight race, Marc Digruber outskied Thomas Dorner by 0.04 seconds for his first-ever Austrian National Championships slalom crown.
See full results from this series here.