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.
"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.
What the online media write about the Val Gardena/Gröden training
The training victory of the Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud was the subject of many articles published in online portals all over the world. Here is a short excerpt.
This is what the racers had to say on the downhill training
Fast snow, long jumps and a track in very good condition: The Saslong presented itself from its best side during the training run for the downhill on Saturday. Here is what the racers had to say.
"King Aksel" is the great absentee
When one speaks of the speed classics in Val Gardena/Grôden, the name Aksel Lund Svindal has to be mentioned in the same breath. For the Norwegian, the Saslong became something like a personal race track in the course of his career. This year, however, the name of the likeable Scandinavian cannot be found in the starting list - last spring, Svindal announced his retirement attending World Cup events only from the sidelines.
VIDEO: Werner Heel as teacher for the younger ones
Following the end of his career, Werner Heel will be an onlooker at the race week in Val Gardena/Gröden for the first time this year. In the video, the South Tyrolean, who won the Super-G on the Saslong in 2008, explains how he supports the younger athletes and which winning faces he hopes to see at the two speed competitions.
Off to the fan parade!
For many years now the Fan Parade has been an integral part of the race week in Val Gardena/Gröden. The time has come again right before the classic downhill race on Saturday: Hundreds of fans will then march from St. Christina to the finish area of the Saslong.
Downhill training on Thursday shortened and moved up to 10:00 am
At the second Team Captains‘ Meeting on Wednesday evening, the cancelled training run was discussed in addition to a look at the training on Thursday.
VIDEO: Rainer Senoner about the changes in the downhill training
For the first time in the history of speed classics on the Saslong, a training run will start at 10 am. Rainer Senoner, President of the Organizing Committee of Val Gardena/Gröden, reveals how this happened and what advantages the early training start brings with it.
The training cancellation from the point of view of the international online media
The cancellation of the first training run was reported not only by the Saslong editorial office, but also in numerous online portals. Here is a short excerpt.
First downhill training cancelled
The first training run for the downhill classic on the Saslong had to be cancelled due to fog banks in the middle part of the track.
VIDEO: Peter Runggaldier on the conditions of the Saslong
We will see the World Cup super-G and downhill races on the Saslong again. We are right on the course which is going to be rather soft given the temperatures ahead. They will have to prepare the course accordingly and it will be interesting to see how the athletes will do with conditions that are markedly different from other years.
15 TV stations reporting live from the speed performances in Val Gardena/Gröden
The super-G and the downhill on the Saslong are among the great classics in the Alpine Ski World Cup - the comprehensive live coverage on TV underlines this in an impressive way.
350th race in the World Cup: a milestone for Peter Fill
When Peter Fill catapults himself out of the starting gate on Saturday in the downhill, then this local favorite breaks through a big sound barrier: The two-time winner of the downhill crystal ball is tackling his 350th race in the World Cup as part of the speed classics on the Saslong.
"Must look at it from day to day"
On Tuesday evening, the first team captains’ meeting was on the program in Selva/Wolkenstein. The main topic was the weather, which could provide some disturbances during the race week in Val Gardena/Gröden.
VIDEO: Markus Waldner on the bad weather prospects
Even though the weather forecasts for Friday and Saturday promise little to be happy about, FIS Race Director Markus Waldner remains calm. The FIS official from nearby Bressanone/Brixen wants to assess the situation from day to day with his team - and he has a solution ready even in the event of bad weather.