Quim Salarich (FCEH-LMCE) and Juan del Campo (NKEF-EURO) shone with their own light in the seventh test of the slalom season of the white circus that has been developed in the spectacular night event of Schladming, in Austria, in which 40,000 enthusiastic spectators crowded. This new international test has been the confirmation that the good snow conditions benefit the skiers of the Spainsnow team who have achieved a historic performance with a new top 15 by Quim Salarich and a surprising and sensational 22nd position by Juan del Campo. This milestone has been achieved after a spectacular move to the second round by both riders after overcoming a track in which the snow has clearly deteriorated as the riders passed. It is the second time they have achieved it after achieving it last season in Garmisch when Quim was 8th and Juan 25th.
The skier from Rossignol from La Molina Club d’Esports, with number 28, clearly went from less to more in the first round in a fairly constant descent in which he started in a more conservative way to end up offering his best skiing and slipping into the second round in 26th place with a time of 57.74 to +3.55 of which the Norwegian and title contender, Henrik Kristoffersen, who finished with a record of 54.19 seconds.
In the second round, Salarich started with a track in much better condition, in fifth place from the starting gate to show that he wants to have a place in the grand finals that will take place in the Pyrenees in March.. And so he did, since he descended the spectacular track of the Planai stadium in a masterful way that allowed him to place himself as the provisional leader of the race with a total time of 1:51.50 in a test that the French Clement Noel ended up winning with a final record of 1:48.97. It is worth highlighting the phenomenal fourth best record of the entire heat (53.76) by Quim, which has legitimized him to climb up to 11 positions in the general classification, finishing in the top 15, his best position of the season.
As soon as it was over, the Premià de Dalt skier highlighted that “the atmosphere has been incredible, 40,000 people supporting skiing here in Austria, it has been an incredible feeling. We can be proud of what we are doing. It was a difficult first round with a rail that was hard to get into but we fought it off and finished in 26th position. In the second race we fought from the first to the last gate with a very good descent, with a fourth time of the race that allowed us to climb up to the top 15. We have had two very good races in Kitzbühel and here, in Schladming, we are resuming the level we had and thanks to this result by Juan and me we have unlocked this third place again for a Spaniard and the truth is that it is a real pride”.
For his part, Juan del Campo (NKEF-EURO), entered the top 30 for the first time so far this season with the highest number of all the competitors in the first round. In this sense, with the number 54, he was able to enter an outstanding 29th position, leaving out such important names on the international scene as Alexis Pinturault, Michael Matt or Sandro Simonet.. He did it +3.98 behind leader Kristoffersen with a total time of 58.17. In all the previous World Cup events, the Basque skier from Spainsnow could not sneak into the top 30 names in the general classification for the second round due to the great difference between the high numbers and the state of the track that the snow deteriorated a lot as all of them passed due to the weather conditions at the beginning of the season.
In the second round, the Atomic skier started in second place from the starting gate and with a track in excellent condition, a complete change of dynamics for him this season. With this scenario, he faced the second descent with all the confidence and great ambition that led him to obtain the best provisional time when he finished his descent with a total record of 1: 52.32. At the end of the passage of all the runners, his 22nd final position was finalized, which is the best result of his entire sports career in the World Cup. It should be noted that del Campo had the second best time passing through the second sector, a fact that demonstrates the intensity with which the Basque experienced his descent. The man from Bilbao keeps very good memories of the night track at the Planai stadium, in Schladming, since on January 30, 2019 he already managed to qualify for the second round.
At the finish line and with the best result of his sporting career, Del Campo affirmed that “I am in a cloud, I had been carrying out many races and the month of January at a high level and with the desire to prove it, they have been very difficult conditions. In Kitzbühel I had a great opportunity but a wheelie left me without any option. Being able to do it today on this court in front of all these people who live this sport as if it were football in other countries is incredible. I wanted to remove the thorn from four years ago that I also went to the second round but I made a mistake on the second track. Today I did a great ski on both descents and I’m delighted. Now I want to continue forward, we are going to fight a lot and I hope that the conditions continue to accompany us as in these last races. We are going to show that we are there”.
The Spainsnow athletes have competed during this evening at the mythical slope of the Planai stadium located in the Austrian ski resort of Schladming. This test, also commonly called “Witches Cauldron” could be described as one of the most emblematic routes of the SL, since it is a night event with a great visual appeal from the beginning to the end in which the athletes have been able to hear the cheers of the stands that housed 40,000 spectators from the same starting point.
It has an unevenness of 218 m, a race length of 582 meters and its start is 963 meters above sea level with a point of maximum inclination of 52%. The World Cup SL specialists really enjoy this track due to the great atmosphere that exists and the night conditions of the track which, although it deteriorates, does so to a lesser extent than if the competition took place at noon as described. habitually does. The next SL World Cup event for the Spanish team will be at the French resort of Chamonix on Tuesday, February 4.