The Spaniard Joaquim Salarich finishes second in the slalom at the Europa Cup Finals in Grandvalira
- Alexander Steen of Norway takes today's victory and takes the title in this discipline's general classification
The first day of competition began on the Avet track in Soldeu, with the slalom. The day's winner was the Norwegian Alexander Steen, who led the race and became general champion for the discipline, with a final time of 1:45.11, as Noel von Grünigen, who was leading the ranking, was unable to complete the first round. This meant that he ended up finishing in 2nd place overall. Second place in the race in Andorra went to Joaquim Salarich from Spain, with a time of 1:46.62, achieving his best result in the Europa Cup this year and finishing in 7th place in the general classification. Making up the other place on the podium was the Austrian Joshua Sturm, with a time of 1:46.63, finishing 6th overall.
Finally, third place on the podium of the slalom general classification went to Fabian Himmelsbach of Germany, who finished 15th in the race on Tuesday.
The Spaniard Joaquim Salarich achieved his best placing in the slalom of the Europa Cup, beating his previous best of third place in Almaasa in February and in Vaujany in January. The racer has combined his participation in the Europa Cup with the World Cup circuit. In fact, this weekend he will take part in the slalom in the finals of the World Cup in Courchevel-Méribel.
At the foot of the course, Salarich explained his impression of how it went: “We knew that coming out as number 29 the second heat would be more complicated than the first. We managed the first one quite well. The first person out, number 1, took advantage of the course and made the difference in the first round. In the second round we had a plan to win. We started very strongly, and with 70% of the race gone, we were doing quite well. At the end, I almost went out due to a mistake, but I am very happy to get my best place in the Europa Cup here in Andorra, close to home, so I can only thank the entire organization, Andorra, and everyone.” And he added: “When I made the mistake, I thought it had got away from me, but when I crossed the finish line and saw that people started shouting, well I thought, 'perhaps I did get there first'." Now my focus is on the World Cup Finals in France and giving it my all. I'm very motivated by these results.”
For his part, the winner of today's race and of the general classification for the slalom, Alexander Steen, was very satisfied with the result: “after the first round I saw that I could win the general classification and I was lucky that it ended up that way. I know it was tough after the snow storm, but they did a great job and did the best they could to get the track ready.”
Second day of the Europa Cup
Tomorrow Grandvalira will host the women's downhill events on the Àliga course and the men's giant slalom on the Avet course. The downhill race is expected to start at 8:45 am and the giant slalom at 8:30 am.
Slalom general classification
1. Alexander Steen Olsen (NOR)
2. Noel von Grünigen (SUI)
3. Fabian Himmelsbach (GER)
4. Fadri Janutin (SUI)
5. Paco Rasado (FRA)
Europa Cup Final classification
1. Alexander Steen Olsen (NOR) - 1:45.11
2. Joaquim Salarich (ESP) - 1:46.62
3. Joshua Sturm (AUT) - 1:46.63
4. Paco Rasado (FRA) - 1:46.81
5. Federico Liberatore (ITA) - 1:46.89