Nicola Rota from Italy wins the 1st Raiffeisen Sochers FIS Challenge Night Race in Val Gardena/Gröden amidst strong snow falls. The 23-year-old concluded yesterday’s night slalom on Ciampinoi with a cumulative time of 1:40.69 seconds.
This pushed the 22-year-old Francesco Romano from the Police Sport Team Moena to 2nd place. Bronze went to Alex Hofer from South Tyrol (+62/100). Rota was third after the first run, which started at 6:30 pm on a floodlit course, trailing Johannes Damian and Francesco Romano (+43/100). His winning time in the second run, which started at 8:30 pm, allowed him to reach first place. The applied FIS penalty was 20.36 points. The first run was set by South Tyrolean trainer Heini Pfitscher with 63 gates; the second and slightly shorter course was set by the coach of the Carabinieri sport team Martin Karbon with 59 gates. Around 80 athletes from five nations (ITA, RUS, SVK, ROM, SWE) started. 40 volunteers helped provide optimal conditions to the racers despite strong snow drifts. The night slalom is part of the Grand Prix Italia and was hosted by Saslong Classic Club Gardena/Gröden. Race Director Rainer Senoner said that the race was a raving success, partly thanks to the tireless dedication by the many volunteers. FIS Technical Delegate was Manfred Tiefenthaler from Innsbruck.