Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Austrian reflects on Beaver Creek giant slalom podium and eyes Val d’Isere wins.
Marcel Hirscher was pushed hard in the opening giant slalom race of the 2018/19 FIS World Cup season at Beaver Creek as he looks to defend his GS title.
Here, the Austrian reveals in his exclusive blog how he managed to battle through difficult conditions to emerge with a gutsy podium.
Back in Austria. We left straight after the race yesterday and landed in Salzburg today at 1:35 pm, so it’s time to tell you about the trip to the US. However, before we go into the details of my own two runs, I want to congratulate Stefan Luitz!
Stefan is a great skier with an untameable will. Why was this his first ever race win yesterday? Because he always got injured just when he was on top of his game, which happened repeatedly. I think everyone involved in the ski circuit will be very happy for him to get his well-deserved victory. If he wouldn’t have had to sit out that often due to injury, he would certainly have several victories to his name already but, who knows, maybe he’ll make up for it all in the weeks ahead ; )
I would also like to congratulate Thomas Tumler, who took advantage of his opportunity and made a sensational second run on the podium yesterday. Now over to me!
The first run was good. Of course, I always find a few spots where I could have gotten more out, but that’s the case for everyone. The challenge was to find the right balance on the aggressive snow, where the slightest movement leads to a reaction of the skis, and to use one’s force in a well-dosed manner. Sounds complicated. Indeed, it is.
In the second run, the fact that the piste had not been treated with water meant that it turned to the worse. Hence, those who were fast in the first run could hardly defend their position. After 10 runs, the slope was in such a condition, as if 40 competitors had been down the hill already. This is certainly questionable.
Nevertheless, I also managed the second run well – although I have allowed myself a couple of small slips. In the end it was not quite enough to take the victory, but we are very satisfied with a second place in the GS opener ; )
So what do we take away from Beaver Creek? Personally, I am getting home knowing that I can compete for the lead in both the GS and the slalom. That’s a good feeling! Of course, I am also aware that me and my team have a lot of work to do in both disciplines. So let’s focus on the program for the next days…
After the long flight and the exhausting race weekend, I will take a two-day break first. For Thursday and Friday the plan is to train both disciplines on the Reiteralm. Two training days are not very much to make the switch from dry, aggressive North American snow to European conditions, but that’s the same for everyone. Friday afternoon we fly to France. On Saturday we‘ll attack the GS in Val d’Isere and in the slalom on Sunday. Until then.
Read the original blog in German HERE.