Nine Italians compete in the first downhill race
The Italian national ski team is tackling the Val Gardena/Gröden race week with a large squad. No less than nine "Azzurri" will be taking part in the first downhill on Thursday.
Italy's squad is led by the veterans Christof Innerhofer from Gais and Dominik Paris from Ulten. In addition to the South Tyrolean duo, the Italian coaching team around Max Carca also nominated Guglielmo Bosca, Mattia Casse, Giovanni Franzoni, Matteo Marsaglia, Nicolò Molteni and Federico Simoni. Florian Schieder from Kastelruth is a third South Tyrolean athlete in the nine-strong Italian team.
The last victory of an Italian in Val Gardena/Gröden was 14 years ago. In 2008, local hero Werner Heel won the super-G at his home race. The last triumph of an "Azzurro" in the downhill, however, was more than two decades ago. In 2001, the legendary Kristian Ghedina was unbeatable in the downhill classic on the Saslong.
The complete starting list for Thursday's downhill is available here.