Val Gardena/Gröden inspires the entire ski circuit once again
Despite all that is going on, everything was ready in Val Gardena/Gröden shortly before Christmas for a spectacular World Cup weekend at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain. The Saslong Classic Club around President Rainer Senoner provided flawlessly organized races in its usual professional manner and offered athletes, staff and journalists a safe working environment thanks to a well thought-out preparation.
"Hoping for races that will be remembered positively for a long time"
Rainer Senoner, president of the Saslong Classic Club, is relieved that the race week in Val Gardena/Gröden is finally underway after a long preparation marked by many unknowns.
The Saslong editorial team is ready to go
After months of preparations, everything is set in Val Gardena/Gröden for an extraordinary World Cup week on the venerable Saslong. This year, the speed classics in the heart of the Dolomites will take place in front of empty stands due to the Coronavirus pandemic - nevertheless ski fans will be able to experience both races up close. This is made possible by the Saslong editorial team, which, true to the motto "We bring the World Cup to the fans at home", will provide fans with all the relevant information as quickly as possible.
Vincent Kriechmayr: "Val Gardena/Gröden is one of the absolute highlights"
Last year, Vincent Kriechmayr added a new name to the long list of winners in Val Gardena/Gröden. The 29-year-old Austrian won with a five hundredths of a second lead over Kjetil Jansrud. In a race that, after several weather-related interruptions, lasted for what felt like an eternity. Kriechmayr raced the entire 2019/20 winter at a very high level, impressively demonstrated by his fifth place in the overall World Cup and second place in the super-G classification. In the following interview, the Austrian downhill star talks about his special relationship with Val Gardena/Gröden, his goals for the World Cup winter 20/21 and he also shares his very clear opinion about how Dominik Paris will return after his injury is over.
Curtain rises for an extraordinary World Cup edition in Val Gardena/Gröden
Even if the grandstands around the finish course of the Saslong remain empty and the VIP tent at the two speed classics in Val Gardena/Gröden will be searched for in vain this year - these circumstances will not dampen the anticipation of a top-class sporting event. The organizers around OC president Rainer Senoner are first and foremost happy that races can be held this week at all on one of the world's most renowned downhill courses. The efforts in the run-up to the 53rd Saslong Classic with the super-G on Friday, 18th and the downhill on Saturday, 19th December were consequently great.
Who is Gardena/Gröden’s #bestFan?
Spectators are not allowed on the legendary South Tyrolean downhill course during this special year. Nevertheless, all ski fans have the opportunity to be up close and personal with the classics thanks to live TV broadcasts. And they can win great prizes at the same time.
There are 25 "special" fans In Val Gardena/Gröden
Due to this year’s special circumstances, the majority of the World Cup events in the various winter sports disciplines in 2020/21 will take place without attending spectators. Nevertheless, 25 "special" fans will be present in the finish stadium of the Saslong on the last weekend before Christmas - made possible by a cooperation with Unika, the Val Gardena/Gröden platform for sculpture, painting and photography.
DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy for the fastest skiing ace on the Saslong
The ski racer who scores the most World Cup points in the two classic races on the Saslong on the last weekend before Christmas can look forward to a special inaugural prize this year. The winner of the DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy will receive a true-to-original 3D wooden bust, as well as extra prize money of 5,000 Euros and a short vacation in Val Gardena/Gröden.
FIS gives green light for the Saslong classics after passed snow control
On Saturday, eleven days before the first downhill training, the International Ski Federation carried out the snow control on the Val Gardena/Gröden downhill course. Following the routine procedure, the FIS confirmed the World Cup races on the Saslong. In addition to the two training runs, the program includes a super-G on Friday, 18 December followed by the classic downhill on Saturday, 19 December.
Val Gardena/Gröden prepares for a special challenge
There is one thing for certain 40 days ahead the first downhill training on the Saslong: the 53rd edition of the World Cup classics in Val Gardena/Gröden will not be “business as usual” for all participants. Nevertheless, the organizers around OC President Rainer Senoner are confident that the last weekend before Christmas will see exciting races and that they will deliver a great product to the ski fans in their living rooms.
Rainer Senoner confirmed as President of the Saslong Classic Club
This year's general assembly of the Saslong Classic Club, organizer of the Alpine World Cup classics in Val Gardena/Gröden, was dominated by the election of the new board of directors. Furthermore, the past winter was reviewed in the presence of various guests of honor, including Provincial Councillor Daniel Alfreider and FIS Race Director Markus Waldner.
Rainer Senoner: "We wanted to rekindle the enthusiasm for our races”
Rainer Senoner's first term of office as president of the Saslong Classic Club will soon come to an end. In the following interview, the 53-year-old gives insights into the first four years as president of the Gardena/Gröden World Cup Committee, looking back on rewarding but also some less pleasant moments and stating his goals for the next term - provided he will be re-elected by the members of the Saslong Classic Club on 25 June.
Date confirmed: Saslong classic on 18 and 19 December 2020
The International Ski Federation FIS presented the calendars of the Alpine skiing race series on Wednesday during the traditional spring meeting - this year for the first time via video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic. The date for the two speed races in Val Gardena/Gröden was also confirmed. On Friday, 18 December, the Super-G will take place underneath the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain range followed by the class downhill on Saturday, 19 December.
Auction of Cortina World Cup final trophies - Raising proceeds for charitable purposes
The organizers of the World Cup final in Cortina want to alleviate the distress caused by the coronavirus. The Cortina 2021 Foundation has decided to host an auction. From 31 March to 9 April, interested parties can bid for the handmade trophies that would have been awarded to the winning athletes in the Cortina races. The proceeds will be donated to the hospital in Belluno, which will use them to purchase ventilators.
"Thank you all for your great effort"
After an eventful week of racing, it is time for Rainer Senoner, President of the Organizing Committee Val Gardena/Gröden, to take stock. Even though the downhill classic had to be cancelled, Senoner wanted to thank all team members and has already set his sights on the next edition of the Saslong classics in 2020.
Downhill classic cancelled
The downhill race in Val Gardena/Gröden planned for Saturday had to be cancelled due to heavy snow and rainfall.
This is what the online media write about the cancellation of the downhill race in Val Gardena/Gröden
The cancellation of the downhill classic in Val Gardena/Gardena did not go by unnoticed with the online media from all over the world.
"The safety of the racers comes first"
With a heavy heart the race jury together with the organizing committee Val Gardena/Gröden had to cancel the downhill classic on the Saslong. The president of the OC team, Rainer Senoner, explains the cancellation of the race.
No fan parade in St. Cristina
After the cancellation of the classic downhill race, the traditional fan parade in St. Cristina also had to be cancelled.
The heroes of the 1970 World Cup in Val Gardena/Gröden celebrated in the Saslounge
On Friday evening, the "1970 World Ski Championship Anniversary Party" took place in the VIP tent Saslounge in the Saslong Stadium. Numerous ski legends, who wrote sporting history in Val Gardena/Gröden five decades ago, joined the festivities.
Bryce Bennett opens the downhill classic
On Friday evening, the ten best downhill skiers in the world chose their starting numbers for the downhill classic on the Saslong at the Medal Plaza "La Stua" in Selva/Gardena.
"Another tough day is just around the corner"
The last details for the downhill classic on the Saslong were ironed out in today’s fourth team captains‘ meeting in Selva/Wolkenstein. As the weather forecasts predict less snowfall than originally expected, nothing should stand in the way of a regular race.
"This is all part of competing in an outdoor sports event"
Stubborn fog banks, long interruptions and a new winning face: the super-G on the Saslong really had it all. Here are the voices of the athletes.
Kriechmayr holds on to the victory in super-G
The super-G of Val Gardena/Gröden ended after many longer interruptions due to fog with a victory of the Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr. The 28-year-old took his first gold on the legendary Saslong in difficult weather but excellent course conditions.
Press clippings on Kriechmayr's victory on the Saslong
Vincent Kriechmayr's first victory on the Saslong was reported in many online media around the world.
Marc Gisin - one of the secret heroes of the Saslong
When Marc Gisin finished his training run in Val Gardena/Gröden, the Swiss was visibly relieved. However, this was not because the 1.98 m mountain of a man had clocked a particularly fast time but rather because he had successfully conquered the Saslong after his terrible fall last year.
"Everything is ready to go"
Almost three weeks ago, German speed racer Thomas Dreßen celebrated a dream comeback and won the downhill from Lake Louise exactly one year after his ACL rupture. Ahead of the speed classic in Val Gardena/Gröden, the 26-year-old high-flyer agreed to an interview with the Saslong editorial team - and had only praising words for the OC team hosting the races.
Ferstl is starting with bib number 1 in super-G
On Thursday evening, the starting bib numbers for the super-G on the Saslong were drawn during a warm celebration at the Medal Plaza "La Stua" in Selva/Wolkenstein.
"We confidently look forward to Friday and Saturday"
At the third team captains' meeting on Thursday, the focus was once again on the weather forecast of the next few days. Although the forecasts do not look too promising, nothing should stand in the way of the two races.
Norwegians dominate downhill training
On Thursday the first and only training run for the downhill classic on the Saslong took place in Val Gardena/Gröden. Kjetil Jansrud clocked the fastest time on a slightly shortened track.