On a slope very much affected by spring rain, Michael Matt secured his first ever world cup victory. Matt, who is younger brother of retired world cup veteran Mario Matt, was trailing with more than a second behind the 1st run leader Stefano Gross and left little chances of recovering. As the 2nd run went on its way, the snow had turned from bad to worse, and it was clear that this favored the Austrian skiers. Matt improved his 1st run with more than 2.5 seconds and as Gross merely kept his pace the victory went to the 23-year old Austrian. Matt explained after the race.
“It’s amazing, it’s unbelievable when you stand out there in the finish area. When you’re second after the first run and then the green light is in the second run when you’re in the finish, it’s amazing. I watched (the other racers) at the World Championships in St. Moritz and that wasn’t good, so I didn’t watch today. I didn’t watch anyone, I just focused on me and my skiing and I’m really happy. I’v had a good experience in European Cup here on this hill and last year as well. I just like the hill and love to ski here.”
The runner up, Stefano Gross was content with his skiing and focused on the fact that he had kept 2 consecutive runs, although struggling somewhat in the 2nd run. “I had a great first run, but in the second run I had a few problems. It was bumpy, it was really hard to hold the line, but I was well prepared for the conditions with training in salty, spring snow” the Italian expressed after the race.
Felix Neureuther from Germany continued his from the World Championships in St. Moritz and took care of 3rd place.
The day after Marcel Hirscher secured his 6th consecutive overall world cup victory, expectations was that he would underline his supremacy in the Slalom competition with yet another win. Hirschers competitor for the Slalom World Cup prior to the race, Henrik Kristoffersen (575 points against Hirschers 635 points), was expected to go all-in in his attempt for a 15th slalom win in his career. As the first plaze rewards with a 100 points, Hirscher could finish no higher than 7th should the Norwegian succeed.
Unfortunately for the Norwegian missed a gate and subsequently had to hike on the slope, he never did make to the 2nd run. Something which in practice meant that Hirscher – with a semi decent run – could secure his overall victory in the slalom world cup. With only the finals in Aspen remaining, for the top 25 ranked athletes, and with a 110 point lead over Kristoffersen, Hirscher could following the race be declared winner of the 16/17 Slalom World Cup.
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