The Norwegian got the fastest time in the first half of Campiglio’s night slalom, but Hirscher is close to the leader. Gross fourth and Moelgg fifth: two Italians can have the podium within reach. Disappointed Neureuther: first down and first out of the race
The 3Tre in Madonna di Campiglio is living up to all the expectations for a great race. The first run of the World Cup Night slalom provided the first upset just a few seconds into the race, with #1 Felix Neureuther immediately out after hitting a pole: no glory for the 2014 3Tre winner. On the other hand, last year’s winner Henrik Kristoffersen clearly showed that Val d’Isere’s performance was not only an exploit, closing the run on the top of the standings in 48.00, 23 hundreths ahead of Marcel Hirscher. “I wasn’t super-fast afterwards, but there’s room to do better in the 2nd run”, the Norwegian warned.
The most expected duel remains the main theme of the race before the ultimate showdown at 20.45. But the Italians are also in the run for glory: Stefano Gross forgot the pain in the pack, and stopped the clock on 48.59, just an inch better than Manfred Moelgg, 48.61: just behind Swede Andre Myhrer (48.49), the two Italians are currently fourth and fifth respectively.
Gross has several good runs to his name in Campiglio: last year he was third at half race but could not keep the position in the second. “The crowd boosted me a lot – he said – even though I didn’t have good training in the last few days and I couldn’t feel totally confident as a consequence. However. I want to play my cards and attack to try for the podium.”
Veteran Patrick Thaler also reached the top-10 (ninth, 48.75), whilst Naoki Yuasa (48.72) exceeded expectations with his eight position, sending back the memory to his 2012 third place in Campiglio.
Disappointing display for Giuliano Razzoli, started with number 22, whose errors in the final part disrupted all the good he had made before: all different story from last year’s fourth place. Anyway, the slope is holding up very well, rewarding the huge work by Adriano Alimonta and his staff to provide the 63rd 3Tre with an excellent battlefield to celebrate the event and the 50th anniversary of the World Cup, in spite of the lack of natural snowing. The huge crowd on the Canalone Miramonti clearly says that: it’s another successful night for Madonna di Campiglio.