No less than the reigning champion himself will open the first Downhill time trial on the Saslong. The first official training run on Wednesday, 18th December will in fact see Steven Nyman, the American who surprised everyone by winning the Downhill in 2012, start first.
The leader of both the overall World Cup and the Downhill World Cup, the Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, starts with bib number 17, just ahead of Erik Guay, another athlete who knows Val Gardena and the podium well, having been there on various occasions, both in second and third place.
Even the Italian racers are awaited with trepidation. The first Italian skier is Werner Heel (nr. 10). Dominik Paris, hoping to confirm his great form after his excellent result in Lake Louise, starts as number 12, whereas Christof Innerhofer has bib number 15. Peter Fill, having obtained two podium postions in Beaver Creek, starts as number 21.