Winning in the Zagreb slalom was a satisfaction after the last races, but it just didn’t give me a kick! That sounds weird, but that’s what it is. I do not feel superior right now. This has nothing to do with rankings or my competitors, but solely with my feeling whilst competing.
The last time I felt great was when I was competing in Alta Badia. There, I instantly knew that I was fast and I had such fun! Currently, I feel a lack of this security – my confidence. To regain it is the task of the next days. Fortunately, I still got the result in Zagreb – and that, even though Alexis Pinturault, Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz all did incredibly well and could have easily won. Obviously, in the end, I was the one who made the fewest mistakes ; )
Particularly noteworthy: After the first round, for the first time in 10 years, there were three ÖSV runners in the top three ranks: Marco in 1st, followed by me and Manuel Feller. I was not surprised: Marco and Manu are both extremely strong at the moment, but they still lack consistency.
However, that can change quickly and then both will be on the podium regularly. We also should not forget Michi Matt, who is also in great shape, but unfortunately was unlucky yesterday. It’s a fact, the Austrian slalom team is doing an amazing job! Everybody pushes everybody and you can see that in the results as well.
Also great, since the beginning of January I have got my very own signature Red Bull can! It is such a great honour that my partner Red Bull is doing this for me. It makes me very proud, because only the best Red Bull athletes have been awarded with their own can edition. In stores already, I will personally present it to the public in Kitzbühel ; )
Speaking of honours, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the over 100 sports journalists of L’Équipe who have awarded me the title of Champion of Champions. That too is a great honour and when I look at who won the trophy in the past years – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi – I have to admit that I’m very touched!
Whether all of this helps to repeat my Adelboden double victory from the previous year, we shall see. Now it is time for recovery, and also time for preparation to regain my confidence and certainty that I mentioned at the beginning. Therefore, I will also skip the downhill in Adelboden and will train Wednesday to Friday instead. Today there is only one thing left to do: snow shovelling ; )
See you in Switzerland!