Val Gardena/Gröden delivers an exceptional ski spectacle
This year, on the last weekend before Christmas, the speed classics on the venerable Saslong were on the docket for the 55th time. The organizers of the Saslong Classic Club once again stood out with their impeccable organization at the anniversary edition and, true to their motto "Passion & Performance," attracted not only the best downhill skiers in the world but also ski fans from near and far.
Successful final training with a bad aftertaste.
The third team captains' meeting on Thursday focused on the second downhill training and on Friday’s super-G.
Norway's top duo flexes muscles in second training session
On Thursday, the second downhill training on the Saslong took place in glorious weather. The Norwegian speed aces left the entire competition behind in the dress rehearsal for the classic race on Saturday.
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.
Kilde: "There are many favorites for the weekend"
Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was unbeatable in the final training for the downhill classic on Saturday. Despite setting the best time, the winner of the 2018 Gardena-Gröden Downhill was unassuming with regard to the two races this weekend.
The Jumps and Bumps of the Saslong
The venerable Saslong at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain is one of the most attractive courses in the entire ski circuit. Here are the key sections of the 3,446-meter-long downhill run.
These European TV channels will broadcast the Val Gardena/Gröden performances live
TV coverage takes on even greater importance with the speed events on the legendary Saslong taking place in front of empty grand stands this year. Several channels will broadcast the races live this weekend.
USA and Norway dominate the first training session
The first of two training runs for the downhill classic on the Saslong was held in Val Gardena/Gröden on Wednesday. On a shortened course, US skier Jared Goldberg clocked the best time … somewhat surprisingly.
Promising weather forecasts make us want to do more
During the second team leaders' meeting on Wednesday, the focus was on the first training run and the weather forecasts for the coming days.
"The race track is already in very good condition".
In the first downhill training on the Saslong, which was started from the super-G start due to fog banks in the uppermost sections of the course, Jared Goldberg from the USA was unbeatable. Here are the voices of the racers.
A World Cup under special auspices
In a top-class sporting event, nothing must be left to chance. In 2020, this credo has taken on even greater significance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic - accordingly, the efforts of the organizers of the speed classic in Val Gardena/Gröden to comply with all applicable pandemic precautions and to ensure the safety of everyone involved during the race week are huge.
Online press review of the first day in Val Gardena/Gröden
The surprising success of the American Jared Goldberg in the first World Cup race in Val Gardena/Gröden is not only reported by the Saslong editorial staff but also covered by numerous online portals. Here is a short excerpt.
"I just imagine a fantasy world and go for it!"
As stadium announcer, Diego Clara is responsible for creating the right atmosphere in the finish area. This is a particular challenge in front of empty spectator stands - but the experienced speaker knows a few tricks to get the athletes fired up even without fans.
Martin Cater & Mauro Caviezel: These are the wearers of the red jersey
In the extraordinary 2020/21 World Cup winter, only one speed stage has been held so far - that of last weekend in Val d'Isère, France. The winners of the two races, Martin Cater (Slovenia) and Mauro Caviezel (Switzerland), now come to Val Gardena/Gröden with the red jersey in their luggage.
The Media Center: hub of the Gardena/Gröden race week
Just as in years past, the media center for the speed classic on the Saslong is once again located in the gymnasium of St. Cristina. All media-related activities lead to this centrally located building during the race week - additionally, all media representatives are offered a safe workplace in the spacious and well-ventilated hall.
"Let's talk about skiing, not the pandemic"
On Tuesday evening, the first team captains' meeting of the 53rd Saslong Classic took place in Selva/Wolkenstein. The intensive preparation of the last few months was reviewed taking a look at the upcoming four days of racing.
Second downhill training live on TV
The second training for the downhill classic on the Saslong will be broadcast live on television.
"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.