Nine "Azzurri" tackle the Saslong
For the Italian national ski team, the speed classics in Val Gardena/Gröden are always among the highlights of the season. This year, nine local athletes are taking part in the two races at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain.
Among the nine "Azzurri" who are hunting for World Cup points on the Saslong are two athletes from South Tyrol, Christof Innerhofer (Gais) and Dominik Paris (Ulten). The Italian team is completed by Guglielmo Bosca, Emanuele Buzzi, Mattia Casse, Matteo Franzoso, Matteo Marsaglia, Nicolò Molteni and Pietro Zazzi.
However, not all nine domestic athletes will be at the start in both races. A maximum of seven Italians may qualify to be on the start list of both the super-G on Friday and the downhill on Saturday.
The last victory of an "Azzurro" in Val Gardena/Gröden was 13 years ago. In 2008, local favorite Werner Heel won the super-G at his home race. The last Italian triumph in the downhill was two decades ago. In 2001, the legendary Kristian Ghedina was unbeatable in the downhill classic on the Saslong.