Saslong Classic Club / Gardena - Gröden
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Paris & Co. still looking for the fastest fall line


In the two training runs for the downhill on Saturday, the three South Tyrolean speed racers Dominik Paris, Christof Innerhofer and Florian Schieder were unable to keep up with the fastest. Following the second training session, the local trio answered questions from the Saslong editorial team.

Dominik Paris about...

...his two training runs: "The two training runs didn't go particularly well - as is often the case here in Val Gardena/Gröden. I made a few mistakes, which now need to be analyzed. Hopefully things will go better in the races.

...the favorites for the weekend: I expect that those who finished ahead in the second practice session will also be among the front runners in the races.

...the special season without fans: It's certainly not easy this year because the spectators and the emotions are missing. But we're glad that we're allowed to race at all trying to make the best of the situation. Personally, I miss the hustle and bustle on the course and on the finish schuss, especially on race day. When you see the crowds congregating already in the morning, that automatically builds up excitement.

...his goals for the World Cup winter: I hope that I can improve in every race. Who knows - maybe sooner or later it will be enough for a place on the podium again.

Christof Innerhofer about...

...his two training runs: "The feeling was better than in Val d'Isère, but I'm not really satisfied yet. I just don't feel as comfortable in Val Gardena/Gröden as on other race tracks. I lose too much time on the long flat section, which is why I prefer the super-G to the downhill.

...the condition of the Saslong: The course is certainly softer than in recent years. This is probably also due to the fact that no tourists have been here yet. I assume that the course will develop a bit more before the race.

...his preparation for the season: "I trained a lot in the run-up to the season, did a lot of fitness work and also skied a lot. A month ago I suffered a bone bruise on my shinbone - that may have set me back a bit. In any case, I had some good training days in the fall with very good times, and I can definitely build on that.

...his goals for the World Cup winter: This season is full of highlights. After last winter, it is my priority to find my racing rhythm again. I can hopefully show better performances on these courses than so far.

...his birthday in Val Gardena/Gröden (Innerhofer celebrates his 36th birthday today, editor's note): I just concentrate on training, skiing and racing. I'm used to not having a big celebration anyway, since it’s been years that I've always been in Val Gardena/Gröden the week before Christmas. I'd rather be in South Tyrol than in any other place on my birthday.

Florian Schieder about...

...his two training runs: The first training was a bit more monotonous, also because the speed was not as high as today due to the softer snow conditions. Overall, my training runs were quite good - now I want to go on full attack in the races.

...his successful start to the season: It went quite well for me in terms of placings in the European Cup, even if I'm not yet where I want to be in terms of speed. In any case, I'm in good shape and want to demonstrate that in the coming weeks.

...his goals for the World Cup winter: At the moment, no qualification is required within the team to get a starting place for the World Cup races. Basically, without that disadvantage, I can tackle the training without pressure. In the next few weeks, however, I will have to weigh up whether it is better for me to start in the World Cup or to compete in a few more European Cup races.