Saslong Classic Club / Gardena - Gröden
Str. Dursan, 106    |    I - 39047 St. Cristina
Tel. +39 0471 793450
codice destinatario: MJ1OYNU
VAT Reg No: IT01657370217


Clear the stage for the 56th Saslong Classic in Val Gardena


In the 2023/24 season, the ski world can once again look forward to one of its true World Cup classics next week. And a triple-edition at that: A downhill race that was canceled in Zermatt-Cervinia will be hosted on the Saslong on Thursday, 14 December, before the original program is held with the super-G on Friday, 15 December and the downhill on Saturday, 16 December. Once again, everything is in place for the big South Tyrolean ski festival. 

This year, the team around President Rainer Senoner will host a back-to-back triple-hitter. Val Gardena/Gröden's World Cup expertise was in demand around a month ago at the Matterhorn Cervino speed opening, where extremely tough weather conditions prevailed. Senoner as Race Director, along with a five-person team led by Course Director Horst Demetz and Media Manager Hannes Kröss, were on duty in Zermatt and Cervinia, supporting the local organizers with their skills, knowledge and expertise. 

At the same time, the new office in St. Christina was busy working on the bid documents for the 2029 Alpine World Ski Championships, which, after a few additions, are now back with FIS and will be subject to a further review in the coming weeks. The Val Gardena/Gröden World Cup organizers have been pushing ahead with this ambitious project for over two years now - the decision will be made at the next FIS Congress in June 2024 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

A brand with great recognition value 
However, the preparations for the 56th Saslong Classic were going strong despite multiple commitments. "The past few weeks have been very intense for a large part of our team. As usual, we have pushed ahead with our preparations with passion, performance and attention to detail. At the same time, we were able to make important contacts and expand our international network. In the ski world, the Val Gardena/Gröden World Cup is a brand known, appreciated, respected, and sometimes even copied - which, let's admit, is the highest form of flattery. This fills us with great satisfaction and is our reward for decades of hard work," says Rainer Senoner. 

The organizers are also known for what has become a tradition at the base of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain on the last weekend before Christmas. The national teams are expected in Val Gardena/Gröden on Monday, 11 December at the latest. Training will take place on the Saslong on Tuesday and Wednesday before the catch-up downhill race takes place on Thursday. The super-G will follow on Friday, 15 December, and the 56th Saslong Classic will conclude with the downhill on Saturday, 16 December.

Entertainment program with a focus on sport
As for entertainment off the race course, the two bib draws in Ortisei/St. Ulrich stands out, which will provide excitement on Thursday and Friday evenings (from 6:15 pm following the award ceremony for that day's race). On Saturday, there will be the traditional fan parade in the run-up to the downhill, with supporting fan clubs marching through the center of St. Christina to the finish area. “For five and a half decades, our focus has been on sport. It is important to us that the athletes and their teams and supporters feel at home. This is a celebration for everyone who loves skiing as much as we do," continues Senoner. 

The search is on for the successors of Vincent Kriechmayr (Austria) and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Norway) on the Saslong. The double world champion of Cortina, Kriechmayr, won the downhill for the first time last year, having already won the super-G in 2019. The 32-year-old from Austria is now one of six racers to have won both disciplines at the South Tyrolean classic. This also includes Kilde, who claimed victory number five in his "favorite race" last year. With three downhill triumphs, the 31-year-old Scandinavian is now just one victory away from the record downhill winners Franz Klammer (Austria) and Kristian Ghedina (Italy). However, Kilde is two victories short of his compatriot Aksel Lund Svindal, who has won no less than seven races in Val Gardena/Gröden (two downhill races, five super-Gs).

20.000 days have passed since the World Cup premiere in 1969
While 100 World Cup races were celebrated in Val Gardena/Gröden last winter, a different number can be celebrated this year. More than 20,000 days have passed since that historic 14 February 1969, when the first Saslong Classic was held in Val Gardena/Gröden. However, the love and passion for skiing have remained unchanged. And this will most likely remain the case for the next 20,000 days because tradition obliges.

Program 56th Saslong Classic

Monday, 11.12.2023
8:00 pm 1st Team captains’ meeting (Selva)

Tuesday, 12.12.2023
11:45 am Downhill training (Saslong course)
5:00 pm Team captains’ meeting (Selva)

Wednesday, 13.12.2023
11:45 am Downhill training (Saslong course)
5:00 pm Team captains’ meeting (Selva)

Thursday, 14.12.2023
11:45 am Downhill Men (Saslong Course)
2:00 pm Flower Ceremony (Saslong Stadium)
5:00 pm Team captains’ meeting (Selva)
5:45 pm Warm up with DJ Ondy and live entertainment*
6:15 pm Award ceremony downhill and bib draw super-G*

Friday, 15.12.2023
11:45 am Super-G Men (Saslong course)
2:00 pm Flower Ceremony (Saslong Stadium), followed by Vitalini Speed Contest
5:00 pm Team captain’s meeting (Selva)
5:30 pm Simon Rabanser feat. Mac Maya in Concert*
6:00 pm Warm up with DJ Ondy and live entertainment*
6:15 pm Award ceremony Super-G and bib draw for downhill followed by Simon Rabanser feat. Mac Maya in Concert*

Saturday, 16.12.2023
10:45 am Fan parade (St. Christina)
11:45 am Downhill men (Saslong slope)
2:00 pm Flower ceremony and award ceremony followed by award ceremony DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy (Saslong Stadium) and Gianni Marzola Prize 

*Antonius Square Ortisei