On Wednesday January 8th, the Swiss won the 3Tre night slalom for the second straight year, like only Stenmark, Tomba and Kristoffersen before, in front of an amazing 15.000-people public
Madonna di Campiglio’s 3Tre has success in its fate. Even the new, one-time January fixture on January 8th could affect its appeal, with 15.000 spectators gathering on the Canalone Miramonti in spite of a mid-week placement after the Christmas festivities. Not even the retirement of Marcel Hirscher could reduce its charm.
Indeed, the winnner was the same as last year, when the Austrian phenomenon was still at the starting gate: Swiss Daniel Yule claimed his second straight win in the night slalom, like only Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba and Henrik Kristoffersen before: a feat that proved elusive even for Hirscher.
Slalom is an eternal magic, constantly regenerating through new faces: not only Yule, but also an established talent like Kristoffersen, talented Noel, Italian prospect Vinatzer, showing something more than a mere promise. That was the recipe for a beautiful race, for the enjoyment of the ski lovers, with 13 athletes within a second, racing for victory head to head. It doesn’t happen every day.
The top-class podium that clinched the night was the perfect conclusion of another memorable 3Tre: Yule preceded Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen (+0.15) and Frenchman Clement Noel (+0.25).
Already in the lead after the first run, Yule has good reasons to consider Madonna di Campiglio his special place. “I think I have skied very effectively through both runs, I was so motivated tonight – Daniel explained – and I felt like every achievement was possible. I know I still have to improve, and make sure this kind of performances happen also elsewhere, not only in Madonna.”
Kristoffersen had to stand with the runner-up spot, though it elevated him to the top of the slalom World Cup standings, whilst the goal of a third 3Tre will have to wait until next chance. The Norwegian would have clearly preferred the other way around.
Home fans of Italy were hopeful before their classic slalom, but the best result came from veteran Manfred Moelgg, in ninth. Lots of expectations were on youngster Alex Vinatzer, whose display was certainly better than his 13th place, and so was his attitude, while Trentino-local Stefano Gross won’t be satisfied with place 27.
With Frenchman Alexis Pintauralt back on the top of the FIS World Cup overall standings, the Men’s circus is now headed to Adelboden, as an entertaining January packed with great races continues.
As for Madonna di Campiglio and 3Tre, the new year is already special, and so will continue: in eleven months, the event will return to its “natural” date on December 22nd, carrying over all the charm that has made it a global phenomenon.