These were the days of Linus Strasser: After his victory in Kitzbühel, the German model driver also won the night slalom in Schladming.
A slalom scene in the polar forest in Schladming – and right: Linus Strasser. Three days after his victory in Kitzbühel, the 31-year-old from Munich won the famous night slalom in front of 30,000 spectators on Wednesday (January 24, 2024). He already won in Blaney two years ago.
This time he beat Norwegian Timon Haugen (+0.28 seconds) over last year's winner. Clement Noel from France (+1.02). Strasser is the first German since Armin Bittner in 1990 to win two consecutive world championships.CupVictory in slalom. This is his fifth world in totalCupThe win – and it was a historic win: no German ski racer had ever won both Kitzbühel and Schladming in one season before.
“Moments for Life”
“Kitzbühel won, Schladming won: it was incrediblesaid Strasser. “As I said in Kitzbühel, these are moments of a lifetime. I'm enjoying them now“His simple recipe for success?”It's easier for me to focus on what's important right now. I stand well over the skis and feel my position well.”
Last year, Strasser was knocked out in the first round in Schladming. At this point everything should fit back together. Manuel Feller, already ranked third in the world in the slalom, is co-favourite.CupAfter winning the race this season and finishing fifth this time, Strasser couldn't stop him. It means the German slalom specialist is also closing the gap on Feller at worldsCup– Rating of 132 points.
Strasser sets the time
Strasser laid the groundwork for his second win with a great time in the first run at Blaney. Starting third early, he benefited from conditions that were still good at the time. After his technically strong ride, it rained, making the slope even smoother. The competition bit their teeth with his 50.46 seconds. Haugen was the only one able to put Strasser under pressure and was only 0.1 seconds behind. Noel finished third. “I was fully engaged at the start and executed my plan well – a flawless ride” Strasser said after the first run.
Before the final, the rain picked up again, increasing the chances of the lower placed drivers again attacking the front. Local hero Fabio Gstrein showed how it worked, as he managed a strong second run and 16th place on a very fast course. The top 10 benefited from significantly better conditions at the end, but neither athlete was able to take advantage of these early on. On the contrary: two podium candidates, Alex Winatzer (Italy) and Adele Lee McGrath (Norway), were eliminated early.
A close fight between Haugen and Strasser
Only Olympic champion Noel was the third-to-last starter to take the top spot. Haugen and Strasser were the only ones still up. The Norwegian coped well again, advancing to first place with a brave push, setting the bar very high for Strasser. He didn't get off to the best start but then went on the attack. Courage was rewarded. Strasser gradually extended his lead and took his second victory in the atmospheric event Nitrate towards the goal.
“If it works, it works“, said 13 times the world happilyCupThe winner in the end with the winner is Felix Neurether. “Linus is like that Cold remained. He's with himself, he's clear, and that's good.“It's easy for Strasser this time”Absolutely simple“To bring the races successfully to the valley.”I'm currently enjoying the momentum.“
Holzmann was “very dirty” in the finals.
Apart from Strasser, Sebastian Holzmann (SC Oberstdorf) reached the final in 20th place. There the 30-year-old could not confirm his performance from the first round and lost a lot of time in the first gates and steep slopes. A few athletes were later eliminated, so he was able to grab a spot.
Still, Holzman was annoyed by his performance, which had too much energy. “Everything really worked. Eventually I let it get the best of me and didn't dare push it. It was dirty too.“However, he went to the worlds for the sixth time in a rowCuppoints. Other German drivers did not win. Anton Tremmel (SC Rottach-Egern/+4.30) and the worldCup-Debutant Nicolas Pfoderl (SC Lenggries/+5.73) only had a spectator role in the second round.