“Thrilled we can be all here"
On Tuesday evening, the first Team Captains' meeting took place in Selva/Wolkenstein. It included a comprehensive review at the upcoming four days of racing - the current COVID situation was also a topic.
The president of the Saslong Classic Club, Rainer Senoner, warmly welcomed all to Val Gardena/Gröden. "It's great that we can hold the races with our friends from the FIS. The circumstances do not make it easy for us, but first and foremost we are thrilled that everyone can be here," said Senoner.
The president of the Saslong Classic Club underlined that the organizing committee is doing everything to ensure "great and safe races." "We are ready for the days ahead" stressed Senoner.
"Course in good condition"
FIS Race Director Markus Waldner praised the excellent work of the entire OC team. "It was actually too warm in Val Gardena/Gröden in early November, which certainly didn't play into the cards when preparing the course. The snowfalls of early December provided a proper base with wet snow. Now the Saslong is in good condition - a big thanks goes to Rainer, Horst and the rest of the helpers for the work they have done," said Waldner, who also mentioned the "defused" finish jump.
The FIS race director also reminded everyone of the COVID guidelines. "All the people involved in the race have to strictly follow the guidelines and always wear the masks, because the situation in South Tyrol is not easy at the moment. For us it is a privilege to be allowed to hold World Cup races in the current situation, we should behave accordingly," Waldner added.
Caution is called for
During the Team Captains’ meeting, the health coordinator of the Val Gardena/Gröden Race Week, Dr. Patrick Franzoni, also had this to say: ”We have a similar situation throughout Europe at the moment. The FIS 'bubble concept' with a “2G” regulation (vaccinated/recovered) and PCR tests is as safe as it can be. Nevertheless, even vaccinated or recovered people must act responsibly and follow all precautions to minimize the risk of infection," Franzoni stated in a video message.
"The Delta variant is very contagious. I therefore ask everyone to respect the mask, distance and hygiene rules - caution is advised especially in lounges, hotels, restaurants, lifts and in the start and finish areas," Franzoni appealed.
The first of two scheduled downhill training sessions will be held on Wednesday. It will be opened by Austrian Max Franz, winner of the 2016 Val Gardena/Gröden Downhill.
The complete start list is available here.