Flachau Night Slalom Race Preview
Every year in mid-January, the best women slalom racers meet for the Night Slalom in the Hermann Maier racecourse in Flachau, and next Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 the spectacle will be back to the Austrian ski town.
On January 10th, 2010, a night-race was held for the first time under the floodlights in Flachau. Marlies Schild won the race and was crowned the first "Snow Space Salzburg Princess".
Flachau is a village in the district of St. Johann im Pongau in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
Flachau is part of the Ski Amadé ski domain, a network of 28 ski areas and towns that stretches from the south-east of Salzburg to the upper Styrian Ennstal creating one of the largest ski areas in Europe. With only one lift pass you can ski on 760 kilometers of slopes served 270 modern lifts, spread out throughout the top five ski regions of Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein (including the Dachstein Glacier at 2,700 m), Gastein, Hochkönig, and Grossarltal.
January 10th Slalom / Women. 1st run 18:00 - 2nd run 20:45 CET
Start Elevation: 1145 m
Finish Elevation: 960 m
Vertical Drop: 185 m
Course Lenght: 530 m
In 2021, under the lights in the Hermann Maier racecourse in Flachau, Mikaela Shiffrin returned to the top of the podium in a Slalom event. It was her first win in Slalom since December 2019 in Lienz.
A consistent Katharina Liensberger finished in second place +0.19 sec behind Shiffrin after setting the best time in the second run.
Wendy Holdener who was second after the opening run, came 0.43 behind in third place.
Mikaela Shiffrin won six of the last seven events in the women's World Cup: a Super-G in St.Moritz on 18 December, two Giant Slaloms in Semmering on 27 and 28 December, a Slalom in Semmering on 29 December, a Slalom in Zagreb on 4 January, and a Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora on 8 January.
On Sunday in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) she achieved her 82th World Cup Victory with another demostration perfomance. She is now level with Lindsey Vonn (82) as World Cup wins record holder among women. The only skier to have won more World Cup events is Ingemar Stenmark (86).
Shiffrin claimed her 51st World Cup slalom win last week, more than any other alpine skier in a specific discipline. Only Ingemar Stenmark (81 in Slalom and 72 in Giant Slalom) has as many podium finishes in a specific event as Shiffrin in the Slalom (71).
The 27-year-old US skier has won four times in the Night Slalom in Flachau: 2013, 2014, 2018, and 2021.
Petra Vlhova finished in the top-four in the last 15 World Cup slalom events she started in. This includes five wins, but not since she won three Slalom events in a row in Lienz, Zagreb and Kranjska Gora in December 2021- January 2022.
Vlhova has won 17 World Cup slalom events, joint-sixth among women alongside Anja Pärson. Janica Kostelic is fifth all-time on 20 wins.
Th 27-year-old skier has scored seven World Cup podiums this season, but is yet to claim any wins.
The Slovakian is a two time winner of the Flachau Night Slalom. She won in the Austrian ski resort in 2019 and 2020.
Wendy Holdener won two World Cup slalom events this season, including a shared win with Anna Swenn-Larsson in Killington. For Holdener, these were her first victories in World Cup slalom events, after she recorded 30 podium finishes (15 times second and 15 times third).
In 2017 and 2021 she finished in third place in Flachau, her best results in this venue.
Anna Swenn-Larsson won the women's World Cup slalom event in Killington this season, a shared win with Wendy Holdener on 27 November. She was the first Swedish woman to win a World Cup slalom event since Frida Hansdotter in Flachau on 10 January 2017.
She can become the first Swedish woman to win multiple World Cup slalom events in a single season since Anja Pärson in 2005-2006 (3).
In 2020 Petra Vlhova edge out Swenn-Larsson in Flachau by only 0.10 seconds.
Lena Dürr has recorded five podium finishes in women's World Cup slalom events, but has yet to win one. The last German woman to win a World Cup slalom event was Maria Höfl-Riesch who won in Levi on 10 November 2012.
Her best result in Flachau was a 11th place in 2021.
Paula Moltzan finished second behind Shiffrin in Semmering. It was the first one-two finish by a country in a women's World Cup Slalom since Veronika Velez-Zuzulová and Petra Vlhová finished first and second for Slovakia in Zagreb on 3 January 2017.
The second place in the Semmering Slalom was Moltzan's second podium finish in a World Cup event, after a second place in the Parallel in Lech Zürs on 26 November 2020.
The last USA woman not named Mikaela Shiffrin or Lindsey Vonn to win a World Cup event was Alice Mckennis Duran in a Downhill on 12 January 2013 in St. Anton am Arlberg.
Katharina Truppe closes the list of names that have occupied the slalom podium this season. She finished in third place in Killington in November. The other two podiums were two third places also in Slalom in Kranjska Gora (2020) and Levi (2019).
Katharina Liensberger is looking for her first podium finish this season. Liensberger's last podium in a World Cup event was a Slalom win in Åre on 12 March 2022.
In 2021 a consistent then Katharina Liensberger finished in Flachau in second place +0.19 sec behind Shiffrin after setting the best time in the second run.