Marco Schwarz wins the Adelboden slalom. The Swiss are convincing as a team – but that’s no longer enough.
Four hundredths. A blink of an eye maybe – nothing more. That’s how much Loïc Meillard is missing in the Adelboden slalom for a podium. Ultimately, he is classified in 5th place and is the best of a good Swiss team: Tanguy Nef (6th), Daniel Yule (7th), Ramon Zenhäusern (13th), Luca Aerni (20th) and Marc Rochat (21st) they all get World Cup points. But they have to watch as Marco Schwarz wins the first slalom victory for Austria in two years.
It is podium places that the self-confident Swiss are aiming for. Because they started the winter with the reference of six top 3 ranks from last season. And because it started extremely well with the victory of Zen houses in Alta Badia. But since then it has never been quite right for the Swiss.
Up and down at Yule
And that’s not only, but also due to Yule. The defending champion has not yet completely convinced in four races. The performance at Chuenisbärgli can be described as a reflection of his achievements. Yule fails the first run, in the afternoon he sets the fastest time. “I’m glad I was able to switch between them,” he says. “But as you can see, you can’t afford the slightest mistake, otherwise the podium will be gone.”
It is similar with Meillard, who lacks a little energy after the two giant slaloms on Friday and Saturday (6th and 3rd). “After the second run, my legs were really heavy,” he says. “Of course I was disappointed at first, but after the long weekend I can be satisfied with this 5th place.”
Now the technicians are moving to Wengen. With unchanged expectations – that means: a podium place is needed.
Maneuvering is no longer an option
To do that, the Swiss have to be more aggressive. Or, to put it in the words of Ramon Zenhäusern: «We have to attack even more. In the past you were able to use tactics from time to time, today the motto is: Push down the stick from the first to the last goal, otherwise you’ll be 13th at the end. His announcement is important if you consider the distances between the previous slaloms.
In Adelboden there are 14 drivers within one second, in Zagreb there were 16, in Madonna di Campiglio 17 and at the start in Alta Badia 15, Zen houses sees the main reasons for the special circumstances this winter: The first race took place around a month later than usual, so all drivers had more time to prepare. In addition, there were good training conditions practically everywhere. “Everyone benefited from this,” says Zenhäusern. But by “all” he also means the Swiss.