Linus Strasser Wins Schladming Night Slalom
In an Exciting race in Schladming, under the floodlights, German Linus Strasser claimed his second career World Cup slalom victory. He finished ahead of Atle Lie McGrath by a mere +0.03 seconds. It's his fourth podium in Slalom in the World Cup. This season he finished in third place in Adelboden. The 25-year-old is the first German to win in Planai since Armin Bittner in 1990.
"Skiing is a brutal sport. After the first run, I said to myself I would try to do my thing again. I'm really enjoying it at the moment. These are races where you go all-in. I had to do it and I was able to implement that very well", said Strasser.
Atle Lie McGrath finished in second place thanks to a sensational performance at the legendary Night Race in Schladming was also sensational. The Norwegian missed his first World Cup victory by just three-hundredths of a second. Previously, an eighth-place in Val d'Isere in December 2021 had been his best Slalom result. It's his best result since he suffered a season-ending injury in Adelboden last January.
For the 21-year-old Norwegian, today's podium is the third one in the World Cup in three different disciplines. In 2020 McGrath finished second in Alta Badia in the Giant Slalom. Last year he was third in Lech-Zürs Parallel.
"Unbelievable it's the only word to describe today's race, what happened tonight. It's the first time in my life I can't stop crying. I will never forget this day", said McGrath.
Manuel Feller finished +0.39 seconds behind Strasser. Feller who was 28th in the first run made up 25 positions overcoming a 1.95 seconds deficit and thus clinched his second podium of the season in Slalom after a dream second run.
The Austrian has finished on the podium in Slalom nine times. The 29-year-old skier has won two Slalom events in the World Cup in Flachau and in Lenzerheide. This season he finished second in Adelboden and fifth in the last Salom in Wengen.
He missed the Slalom in Kitzbühel last Saturday after a positive coronavirus test but was given the green light by the authorities to start today the race in Schladming. He felt the lack of training physically, and he is still a long way from being in top shape. "I haven't trained any speed at all in the last few days, my back hurts too. I found it extremely difficult to find the balance, to make the turns quickly. But I think I've shown that I can ski well despite all the problems", said Feller.
"It's certainly one of the greatest achievements I've made in my career so far. It was a brutally tough day. It's just difficult to go from the couch onto such a difficult slope. One day of training would have been great, but the first run was my training and the second was extremely good. It's unbelievable that it turned out like this. Nobody would have thought that", he added.
This season there have been six different winners in six races (Clément Noël, Sebastian Foss-Solevåg, Johannes Strolz, Lucas Braathen, Dave Ryding, and Linus Strasser), and the 18 podium places have been divided by 14 different athletes (only multiple podiums by Kristoffer Jakobsen, Lucas Braathen, Manuel Feller, and Linus Strasser).
Lucas Braathen, despite today's 12th place, is still on the lead of the Slalom standings with 257 points, 37 points ahead of Foss-Solevåg, and 72 of Feller.