On January 3rd and 6th, the World’s top male and female skiers will gather in Zagreb (Croatia) for the "Snow Queen Trophy" 2021 races in the Sljeme's "Crveni spust" Slalom course.
Slalom. Women. Sunday, January 3rd. 1st run 12:30, 2nd run 16:00 (CET)
Slalom. Men. Wednesday, January 6th. 1st run 12:15, 2nd run 15:30 (CET)
The Snow Queen Trophy races have been taking place since 2005. That year the Croatian Ski Association (HSS) organized the first ladies World Cup slalom race, turning Zagreb into an unavoidable stop on the World Cup calendar. In 2008, a men’s slalom race was introduced and since then the Snow Queen Trophy races have been among the most-watched World Cup races. Snow Queen Trophy races are special in many respects: only at the Sljeme races are the winners of the men’s and ladies’ races crowned Snow King and Queen, and the atmosphere surrounding the races is praised by not only the world’s best slalom skiers but also all the visitors. Consequently, in 2013, the Snow Queen Trophy races were admitted to the Club5 Ski Classics, which gathers traditional organizers of the FIS Ski World Cup races. Zagreb has thus joined the company of the leading organizers of the FIS Ski World Cup races, including Val Gardena, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Kitzbühel, Wengen, and Val d’Isere.
The Croatian capital Zagreb Ski Area is only twenty minutes away from the city center. The ski slopes are situated on the northern slopes of Medvednica, beginning at the Sljeme peak and using the varied configuration of the terrain, thus providing slopes of different levels of difficulties.
Until last Slalom in Semmering, won by Michelle Gisin, the last 28 women's World Cup Slalom races were either won by Shiffrin (19) or Petra Vlhová (9), since Frida Hansdotter won in Flachau on 10 January 2017. It was Gisin's First World Cup Win and ten podium.
Only 0.11 sec behind Gisin, Katharina Liensberger finished in second place. She delivered a solid second run, climbing one step to the second spot of the podium. Mikaela Shiffrin finished in third place, 0.57 sec. behind the winner.
Michelle Gisin joined Mikaela Shiffrin, Petra Vlhová, and Erin Mielzynski as the only active skiers to have won a women's slalom event in the World Cup.
The current leader of the overall World Cup standings and bearer of the red bib in Slalom Petra Vlhova (SVK) finished just out of podium range in fourth place.
Petra Vlhova finished on the podium in 15 of the last 18 World Cup slalom events. The only exceptions were a fifth place in Maribor on 2 February 2019, a DNF in Levi on 23 November 2019, and a fourth place in Semmering last Tuesday.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished on the podium 43 times (34 wins) in her last 46 slalom participation in the World Cup.
Katharina Liensberger has finished in the top 7 in each of the last 10 women's World Cup slalom events, including a third place in both events in Levi this season and a second place in Semmering last week. Liensberger is the only skier to finish on the podium in all three women's slalom events in the World Cup this season.
Last season Petra Vlhova started the new year in the best way possible, taking her first slalom win in Zagreb, thanks to two perfect runs. Vlhova was leading already after the first run - 1.16 seconds ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) - and pushed even more in the second run, finishing 1.31 seconds in front of the American superstar.
Katharina Liensberger finished third (+3.49s).
Petra Vlhova recorded a podium in three of her six World Cup slalom races in Zagreb.
In 2019 Mikaela Shiffrin was in a league of her own as she clocked the fastest time in Zagreb and won the race by 1.25 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova (second after skiing the fastest second run). In third place ended Wendy Holdener by finishing 1.75 seconds behind the winner Shiffrin.
Mikaela Shiffrin was almost unbeatable in 2019. Her confidence was so big at that moment, that allowed her to ski very aggressively and faster than everyone else.
Mikaela Shiffrin crowned herself “Snow Queen of Zagreb” for the fourth time (2019, 2018, 2015, and 2013).
On the Men's side, Henrik Kristoffersen won the last Slalom race of 2020 in the "Canalone Miramonti" in Madonna di Campiglio. He finished in 12th position in the opening run, 1.25 seconds off the leader but after an impressive second run, he was able to climb to the top of the podium. It was his first victory/podium of the season.
Kristoffersen was joined on the podium by his teammate Sebastian Foss-Solevaag +0.33 behind and Alex Vinatzer +0.34 off the pace.
The day before Ramon Zenhäusern won the opening World Cup slalom race of the season in la Gran Risa in Alta Badia. He took the victory after an incredible second run. The Swiss skier was 8th after the first run but climbed up his way to the first spot on the podium with a strong second run.
Behind Zenhaeusern, there was an incredible battle between top skiers, with two Austrians managing to join the swiss giant on the podium, Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz.
First-run leader Alex Vinatzer dropped to 4th after the second run. Slowed by tough snow conditions on the Gran Risa course, Daniel Yule and Michael Matt, who were second and third after the opening run, dropped to 7th and 15th, respectively.
Last season Clement Noel (FRA) shows the crowd in Zagreb what he is capable of, winning the Snow King slalom in Zagreb for the first time in his career. The 23-year-old Frenchman was the first man of his nation to win in Zagreb since 2009.
The French skier, 4th after the first run, connected perfect turns in the second run and climbs up three positions to claim his then 4th World Cup victory ahead of Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI).
Alex Vinatzer (ITA), took the third spot on the podium (+0.29) achieving his first World Cup podium.
In 2019 Marcel Hirscher, Marcel Hirscher, after two races off the podium, earned his way back on the top of the podium, to grab a fifth slalom win in Zagreb. Finishing second +0.37 off the pace in the first run, he skied an aggressive second run and recovered from several tricky situations to finish on the top of the podium.
In the second position was Alexis Pinturault, with Manuel Feller rounded out the podium.