Nothing for weak nerves
One day after the dramatic foehn storm scenes in the broken giant slalom, the floodlit slalom turned into a sporty thriller. Shiffrin was only two hundredths ahead of Gisin at halftime, while Liensberger and Truppe were significantly behind as third and fourth respectively. Unexpectedly, Vlhova came sixth with a clear deficit, who had won the last five slaloms before Semmering.
Vlhova’s series came to an end
In the highly exciting decision, a few series went to the collar. Especially positive for the winner Gisin and Liensberger: thanks to the fastest time, the Austrian carved in second place for the first time after five third places in the World Cup. With her first World Cup victory – exactly eight years after her World Cup debut at Semmering – Gisin ended the long negative series of the Swiss women in slalom after more than 18 years. The last Swiss slalom winner before her was Marlies Öster in Berchtesgaden in January 2002.
Shiffrin (19) and Vlhova (9), who had shared their victories in the previous 28 World Cup slaloms, were left empty-handed this time. For Vlhova the one year unbeaten in this discipline came to an end.
“I’m super happy with second place,” said Liensberger after a true dream run. “ It’s not first place, but it feels like a victory,” she said, after five thirds, celebrating her first second place. While Shiffrin also stayed behind, only Gisin prevented the Vorarlberg woman from jumping to the top.
With a heart to the top
“ Michelle did a great job. It was really no longer easy with the many tracks, I really had to go to the limit,” said Liensberger with a smile and thanked her mental coach and ÖSV President Peter Schröcksnadel. “ He advised me to just ski with my heart. Then I just let the ski go and pushed hard.”
Gisin looked visibly relieved after she was at the top for the first time in her 144th World Cup race. “ Finally we are no longer asked about it”, she was of course happy about the end of the long slalom dry spell. “ It was an absolutely perfect day.”
Despite relapsing to sixth place, the troops were satisfied because they had contested the race with their “fear number” 1. “ That went so bad at the premiere a year ago in Lienz (18th place, note). That’s why I slept badly this time and was very nervous,” said the relieved Carinthian, happy about her best result of the season after two 7th places in Levi. “ Still, I still drive a little with the handbrake.”
Found the accelerator
While Franziska Gritsch, who was seventh at half time, was unable to make the decision, Katharina Huber advanced from 20th to 10th place and was third-best of the six ÖSV riders who qualified for the final even without the injured Bernadette Schild. “I totally braked the first run. The second was then a lot better,” explained the local Austrian hero. Chiara Mair slipped from 10th to 12th place and explained this with persistent headaches. Katharina Gallhuber from Göstling totally screwed up her second run and was only 26th.
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