Philipp Schörghofer (AUT)
Jean-Baptiste Grange (FRA)
Bernhard Niederberger (SUI)
ADELBODEN: GOOD GROUND FOR FISCHER!
Mölgg on the podium, Kostelić catching up
Finally! After three fourth places his time had come: Manfred Mölgg clinched his second podium finish of the season in what proved to be a hotly contested race. The Italian racer finished third in the Slalom in Adelboden (SUI) behind an unleashed Marcel Hirscher and fellow Austrian Mario Matt. Ivica Kostelić is also back to his old self, finishing the race behind Mölgg in fourth.
Even stronger in Slalom than GS
Mölgg stated his intentions after finishing in fourth place in the previous day's Giant Slalom: "I'm very satisfied, but I'm even stronger in Slalom. I'll be on the podium tomorrow!" And that was exactly what happened. He even skied the fastest time in a sensational first run and went into the break leading the standings. In what was a very exciting second run Mölgg was the last one to go down the hill and was able to maintain his lead until the second split time after which, however, he dropped back into third overall as he crossed the finish line. But this by no means dampened his spirits: "A great race with a fantastic result. Even though victory would have been within reach today," says Mölgg, summing up the race.
Kostelić pain-free at last
The Croatian camp also drew attention to itself this weekend: Ivica Kostelić is almost back to his old self. His fourth place in the Slalom and fifth the day before in the Giant Slalom confirmed what people had been hoping for in recent weeks: the superstar of 2011 is gradually shaking off his physical problems and back on track. "It's simply fantastic. It's not about the podium, it's about skiing. My knee is not giving me any trouble at the moment. This is the one risk factor – if I can stay pain-free then I am convinced I will be able to ski really well again!" There is no doubt that Kostelić, who had been plagued by injury ever since the beginning of the season, is one tough racer who can take the pain: "I haven't been able to bend this knee properly for a while anyway. But when it does hurt, it hurts like hell and I can't put any real pressure on it." However, this is now hopefully a thing of the past and will not hinder any future successes.
Four in the top 10
This is not the first time that Adelboden, a small mountain village in the Berner Oberland region, has been successful ground for the Fischer Team. And this season's races on the Chuenisbergli mountain certainly lived up to this reputation. The team as a whole celebrated a top result already in the Giant Slalom on Saturday, despite the much desired podium eluding them. Well placed in third after the first run, Thomas Fanara regrettably skied out of the race in the second run. "That's how it is when you give 100%! But at least Thomas gives his all and doesn't simply try to hang on to a result. In a race like this, his aim is to win!" – says Fischer Racing Director Siegi Voglreiter on his athlete's fighting spirit. Besides Manfred Mölgg and Ivica Kostelić who finished in fourth and fifth respectively, Austria's Philipp Schörghofer also showed that he is a force to be reckoned with. Seventh place in the final standings means that he will be a strong candidate for the Austrian Ski Team for the WSC. And ninth place went to Marcus Sandell (FIN), who was once again able to finish among the top ten.
A new face for Switzerland
Sunday's Slalom may not have had more surprises in store but there were certainly some new faces. One of them is Bernhard Niederberger, a young Swiss racer who celebrated his debut in the World Cup in Adelboden. "It really is something special to ski in front of so many people at home. This is probably the biggest difference to the Europa Cup races. The pistes themselves are not that different," said the 19-year-old in an interview the day before his first race. "I will definitely give everything I have in the race. Slowing down is not an option," said the young Swiss hopeful. In the race itself, however, he risked too much and was out in the first run.
Razzoli and Grange going from strength to strength
Giuliano Razzoli who recently joined the Fischer Team risked everything and completed the race. He had to take painkillers to actually ski, but they were worth their while. Twelfth place is a good result for him at last, a good basis for improvement. The same can be said for brand colleague Jean-Baptiste Grange who, following his ligament injury in spring 2012, has now had his third World Cup race, finishing in an encouraging 16th place!