Loic Meillard Wins the Giant Slalom in Schladming
Marco Odermatt, winner of 4 of the first 5 Giant Slaloms this season, did not start tonight in Schladming. But despite the great absence the Swiss Party continued in Schladming with a 1-2 podium.
In a demanding racecourse, even more in the second run under the fog, Loic Meillard claimed today his first World Cup victory of the season, his second one in the World Cup. In February 2020 he celebrated his first win in the World Cup in the Parallel Giant Slalom in Chamonix.
Until today Loic Meillard had finished six times on the podium in a World Cup Giant Slalom event (3 second places, 3 third places) but today he achieved his first victory. It is his 14th World Cup podium, the fifth this season.
He had previously achieved a second place in the Slalom in Wengen, a third place in the Giant Slalom in Adelboden, and two third places in the Slalom in Val d'Isère and in the Super-G in Bormio. This makes Meillard the first skier since Marcel Hirscher in the 2015-2016 season to have made it onto the podium in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super-G podiums in the same winter.
“It was pretty good. It was difficult to get in a rhythm with yesterday and the late finish. I felt good, I like the snow and I like that slope. So, it was cool”, said Meillard.
Gino Caviezel finished in second place 0.59 seconds behind his teammate. It's his fourth podium in the World Cup, the third one in the Giant Slalom.
“It is awesome. It was a really nice race. I love the night events. Sure, I wanted to win but being on the podium with Loic is great, we are good friends. My speed is back and I feel good on the Giant Slalom skis”, said Caviezel.
Meillard and Caviezel gave Switzerland the first 1-2 podium in Giant Slalom since Kranjska Gora 2021.
Marco Schwarz rounded out the podium 0.81 seconds off the pace. It's his first podium of the season and his first one ever in Giant Slalom. The 27-year-old Austrian finished the first run in 14th place and climbed his way to the podium setting the best time in the second run.
“It is amazing. It my first ever GS podium in World Cup so I am happy. My second run was great. My first run I was very angry at the start. With the second, I told myself, full gas, and it worked out well”, said Schwarz.