In 2011 the Gardena/Gröden Downhill had to be cut short due to strong winds, 2012 the race could only take place on a shortened race course. These last years the organizers of the Worldcup races on the Saslong have not been very lucky with the weather. This year they have a meteorologist on site as well as two weather stations to help predict the weather as accurately as possible, thereby enabling them to react to changing conditions as fast as possible.
The team captains’ meeting on Tuesday evening in Selva/Wolkenstein marked as always the official kick off of the Worldcup race week in Gardena/Gröden. Not only are the start numbers for the first training run drawn, but FIS race director Günter Hujara and the Organising Committee provide the coaches with the latest information regarding the race course and the race programme.
“Although the conditions were not easy in the last days and weeks, the organizers have once again managed to prepare a great piste. This year there will be even more bumps and waves than in the last years, because there is so little snow.” Hujara comments on the condition of the Saslong.
Rudi Stocker, the FIS technical delegate , has also inspected the race course and given a favourable report: “The piste is very well prepared. The conditions are good. Now all depends on the weather.” The last two years the weather wasn’t very favourable, causing problems with too much wind and too much snow. And the meteorologists are once again predicting snow for Friday. This year the organizers have their own weather station. Rainer Senoner, the race director: “The last two years we have been working together with the weather stations in Bolzano/Bozen and Arabba. This year we have built a weather station both at the Start and at the Finish to receive even more detailed information about changing conditions, enabling us to react faster. Meteorologists are also on site.”
Even FIS director Hujara announced a piece of news: tomorrow the company Dainese will present the newest developments regarding their back protectors to the coaches. During the week they might even present them to the Media.
A moment of silence was held during the team captains’ meeting for Nando Rudiferia. Rudiferia, long time race director of the World Cup in Gardena/Gröden and one of the pioneers of the ski sport in the valley, passed away the day before yesterday.