“The World Cup races are a very important marketing tool,” said race director Rainer Senoner, who is also the president of the Saslong Classic. “We can show that we are a good candidate. By hosting the third additional race, we prove once again that we are ready in Val Gardena when we need to be.”
Wolkenstein’s mayor, Roland Demetz, was also pleased, especially since three Saslong winners were named this week. “For our 100th World Cup race, of all things, we got an extra downhill—the first time in our long history.”
Odermatt criticizes the monster program
The Men’s Ski World Cup in Val Gardena and Alta Badia will continue with a very busy program: five races to be held within five days. Particularly harsh criticism comes from all-rounders such as Marco Odermatt.
Snow at the right time
Sprints the last weekend before Christmas are a tradition in Val Gardena. It’s all set ahead of the 55th edition of the World Cup Classics. According to FIS race director Markus Waldner, Saslong is in excellent shape. It’s time for the new snow and cooler temperatures of the past few weeks and the landscape has become a winter beautifier.
Moderately bad weather has been declared for Thursday and Friday, but this could be an opportunity for the organizers to explain how to handle and solve problems, especially with regard to the World Cup run.
The head of the FIS comes out as a Val Gardena fan
This year some important figures from politics and sports are expected. For example, Italian Sports Minister Andrea Abbudi, South Tyrol Governor Arno Kombacher and Flavio Roda, president of the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI), confirmed to be guests. Johan Eliasch also announced his arrival. The feisty president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) raved about Val Gardena during his visit last year.
A major hurdle towards hosting the World Cup last year has already been removed. Gröden won against Sestriere in the race for FISI support and has been Italy’s official favorite from then on. The decisive factor was the concept focusing on sustainability and environmental protection through the use of existing infrastructure, as announced after the decisive vote.
No new slopes are planned
Central to this promise is that no new World Championship slopes will be built. Downhill and Super-G will be held on Saslong, while the technical majors will be held on Ciampinoi 3 piste, which has already been used since 1970, with the destination directly in Silva. The Alta Badia ski area in neighboring Val Badia is not part of the application, following a decision by the municipal council. He decided not to participate for environmental reasons. The 2029 World Ski Championships will likely be awarded at the 2024 FIS Conference.
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