Highlights from Schladming slalom

27th January 2012, by Chris Gill

Schladming lights up

Schladming lights up

Conditions have not been easy for the World Cup racers recently, and Schladming’s night slalom this week was no exception.

Heavy snowfall and a rutted course in places challenged the racers in front of a 50,000 strong crowd on Tuesday. But it was local lad Marcel Hirscher who won the men’s slalom, for his sixth victory of the season.

The Austrian resort’s Planai mountain guarantees a good turnout and a party atmosphere for its annual night race. It’s a full afternoon and evening programme, culminating in the second round showdown under floodlights. Hirscher clocked a combined total time of one minute 43.01 seconds, hanging on to his first-run lead. His teammate Mario Matt came third. Stefano Gross of Italy came second.

Overall World Cup champion Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished fourth, but remained at the top of the standings – 80 points ahead of Hirscher. Kostelic and Hirscher appeared to settle their recent differences from the Zagreb race, when the Croatian appeared to support claims that Hirscher straddled a gate en route to his recent victory there. The FIS have since cleared Hirscher of any fault.

If you are keeping up with the race events, and the ‘who’s who’ of podium winners, next stop is the men’s downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

As for Schladming … the resort has very good snow cover at present, reporting base depths of 90-180cm. The next five days are forecast to be cold and clear, so there should be great skiing on offer over there.

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