Massimiliano ‘Max’ Blardone’s long trip to Bulgaria’s superb yet far Bansko ski resort turned out to be very positive for him! He enjoyed his third consecutive podium on the demanding ‘Alberto Tomba’ course on Saturday. The Italian veteran had not achieved such a series of great performances since the 2006/07 season so he was more than happy to finish right behind Austria’s impressive Marcel Hirscher in his first race for a long time.
"This represents a very meaningful result to me, I’m really pleased with my skiing and my determination too. The racing conditions were quite difficult today, especially this morning with the strong gusts of wind which brought snow on the course,” explained afterwards the 32-year-old who only clocked the seventh best time in the morning leg.
"I had approached the second run with great determination. In fact I managed to bring out the beast which was in me and take great risks from the first to the last gate,” Blardone also said. “This attitude helped me to produce a great second run and move-up in the finals standings to reach my 23rd World Cup podium in my career. I think it’s pretty good no?”
“It was crucial today to be aggressive on both runs as the course was soon pretty rough, especially in the second run. I was lucky too that some of the other favorites had a hard time and lost much time on me this afternoon.”
“I could only ski something like eight days since the last competition at Adelboden because of an injury at an ankle. I feel very confident now looking forward for the next races, especially the spectacular event at Kranjska Gora where I often did well in past seasons,” added Blardone.
“I’ll do my best to remain on that level in the coming weeks. It’s pretty exciting to be fighting now for the podium in the giant slalom World Cup rankings after having been so far in the start-list earlier this season.”
“I wish to dedicate this great performance to the members of ma fan club who also travelled so far to support me today. They are delighted of course. I also want to congratulate and thank my serviceman who again did a great job with my skis prior the race. They were extremely efficient on that treacherous slope. Well done!”
Blardone’s next event is planned for the coming weekend at Crans-Montana in Switzerland where a giant slalom is scheduled for Sunday.