"Happy to be here" FIS Race Director Markus Waldner in a short interview.
The long wait is finally over: On Thursday, the first of three-speed races will take place in Val Gardena/Gröden with a shortened downhill. We took an exclusive look behind the scenes with FIS Race Director Markus Waldner shortly before the downhill start.
"Mr. Waldner, after the training run on Tuesday, Wednesday was a 'rest day' for the athletes and the Saslong. How does the course look this year?"
Markus Waldner: "We have had a successful training run without any significant problems or crashes. The riders haven't yet gone out full throttle but have been slowly getting to grips with the track. We used the day off from training to remove the little bit of fresh snow from the night and to make minor adjustments at the Ciaslat. The jump at the Ciaslat exit was pretty strong and would probably have gone too far in the race. But now the Saslong is ready for racing, and we look forward to the races."
"Here in Val Gardena/Gröden, three competitions are on the program for the first time this year. Does the additional downhill pose a special challenge?"
"Only a few changes in preparation, as instead of a final training session, there will now be a shortened downhill from the super-G start. I want to take this opportunity to thank the OC team of the Saslong Classic for taking over the race and Infront managing director Stefan Krauß*, with whom we found an agreeable financial solution. We are pleased to be able to make up for the canceled Beaver Creek downhill here."
"The start of the season in the men's Alpine Ski World Cup was not an easy one: races had to be canceled in Zermatt, Lake Louise, and Beaver Creek. What is your conclusion?"
"We started well in Sölden at the end of October. Then came the cancellation of the Zermatt competitions, which were probably scheduled too early. We are now re-evaluating this project - the plan is to include the Zermatt races in the program later. Then for the overseas stages in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek, the onset of winter threw a spanner in the works, and we had to cancel one of three races in each of the two resorts. However, I would like to emphasize that the four North American events we were able to hold were very nice. We also had quality races last week in Val d'Isère, where we also had to deal with snowfall but managed to run everything regularly."
*The company Infront Sports & Media AG is the owner of the broadcasting rights to the Alpine Ski World Cup