What Ganslernhang and Planai are to male slalom artists, the night slalom in Flachau is to women: not only an immense prestige title, but also a good profit for the wallet. Because the annual winner on the Hermann Maier route can not only adorn herself with the title “Snow Space Salzburg Princess”, but also receives the biggest winner’s check in the entire World Cup season. As is well known, on Tuesday evening this was the American Mikaela Shiffrin, who received 58,000 euros for her fourth success at Grießenkar. The spicy thing about it: This prize money is higher than the winner of the men’s race planned for Saturday in Flachau will get. In fact, it is quite a unique event in the ski circus.
A year ago, Shiffrin, Katharina Liensberger and Co. even carved a lot more flakes: in 2020, an absolute record prize money totaling 174,000 euros was distributed in Flachau – divided among all points (i.e. 1 to 30). In the publicly closed Corona season, the organizers had to slim down a bit this year and were only able to endow the night slalom with 145,000 euros.
But that is still around 35,000 euros more than the slalom riders will earn on Saturday (9.30 a.m. / 12.30 p.m.) at the first of the two gates moved to Flachau. Since this is “only” the substitute slalom in Wengen, the minimum prize money of 120,000 Swiss Francs (110,987.79 euros) prescribed by the FIS will be distributed. As an aside, there would have been no more on the Lauberhorn, because the well-known thrifty Swiss only pay out the minimum amount even in their traditional race. The situation is different at the Sunday slalom in Flachau, which is the replacement race for the Ganslern Torlauf: Here, the ÖSV, as the organizer, has improved so that the best 30 riders can share 150,000 euros instead of the minimum prize money. So just a little more than the women got.
Of course, there is no comparison to Kitzbühel, where the highest prize money in the World Cup is paid out every year. 600,000 euros are normally earmarked for the Hahnenkamm races – 220,000 euros each for downhill and slalom and 160,000 euros for the Super G.
The fact that the women in Flachau get more for their night race than the men for their slalom in daylight is also evident from the TV ratings: With 1.15 million viewers on ORF 1, there was a strong quota in the final on Tuesday evening, which is probably now cannot be topped by men. With the ski quota highlight Schladming night slalom – most recently 1.71 million viewers – the women cannot keep up.
All clear for Kitzbühel
As for the spread of the coronavirus mutation, which was the reason for the relocation of the two slaloms, there is, however, the cautious all-clear: In the Kitzbühel neighboring town of Jochberg, where a suspected cluster is said to have formed, only around 1,000 PCR tests were carried out four positive. If these numbers remain so low, the Hahnkamm races (January 22-24) with double downhill and SuperG can be retained.