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Welcome back! Jens Byggmark reclaims the podium after a four-year absence
After 4 years of abstinence from the World Cup podium, Jens Byggmark has launched into an extraordinary comeback to the elite ranks of alpine racing, starting with his 3rd place finish in the slalom in Levi, Finland. The slalom specialist left some big names on the slalom circuit in his wake in a hard-fought competition.
The jocular Swede laid the groundwork for his top-three finish during the first run. His time was third best, behind only fellow Swede Andre Myhrer, the winner of last year's slalom tour, and Marcel Hirscher (AUT). In the second run he safely brought home his first World Cup points in the first slalom of the new season.
After the race the congenial 27-year-old was thrilled with his successful day: "I've worked hard to get to this moment, I now feel more solid than I did in recent years and can really go on the offensive."
The success in Levi is another step for Byggmark on his way back to the top; his progress is clear, since last season he already managed to earn points in nine of ten World Cup slaloms he entered. His previous career highlight was the surprising but thoroughly well-earned second place in the 2011 alpine world championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
He's clearly rounding into form impressively this season. Byggmark articulated his goal after the race: "I now want to hold this level and ski my way onto the podium all season long." This sounds like good fighting talk to us.
Jens Byggmark wasn't the only Volkl skier to produce good results at this weekend's races. Newcomer Philipp Schmid skied his way to an impressive 10th place, a testament to his enormous talent. Manfred Pranger also claimed 12th spot, while Stefano Gross finished 21st.
For the ladies, Nina Löseth earned an outstanding 10th place finish, laying the foundation for ongoing success in the upcoming races.