In San Sicario, Italy, the ladies are due to meet for the last World Cup races before the finals in Lenzerheide, SUI. From the 25th until the 27th of February a super-G, a downhill and a combined event are on the agenda. At the same time the race weekend is an organisational test for the olympic Games 2006, then the womens Olympic super-G is to take place on this course.
Duel for overall World Cup culminates in combined event
After Tanja Poutiainen, FIN, dropped out of the giant-slalom in Are, SWE, and lost the overall World Cup lead, and considering that shes unlikely to make points good in the speed disciplines in San Sicario, we appear to be heading for an end of season duel between The Swede Anja Pärson and Janica Kostelic from Croatia. At the moment Pärson leads by a mere eight points. With both of them demonstrating their versalitity over the past weeks, the combined event on Sunday should be particularly thrilling. Maybe the ÖSV stars, such as Renate Götschl or Michaela Dorfmeister, can use the speed races to close the gap on the leaders in the overall World Cup.
The super-G World Cup couldnt be more exciting
The contestants for the super-G World Cup will have to have strong nerves on the 2006 Olympia course. Then none of the competitors can afford to drop out any more, otherwise their chances of winning the small crystal trophy are ruined. Michaela Dorfmeister has gathered 333 points in all, including her recent victory, only two less than her team colleague Renate Götschl. With 326 points, Lindsey Kildow from the USA is also still in with a good chance. Apart from them, Alexandra Meissnitzer, (AUT, 256 points), and the German Hilde Gerg, (251), are still in the running.
Early decision in the downhill?
In the alpine skiing world shes known as the speed queen and shes naturally the top favourite again in San Sicario. Renate Götschl leads the downhill rankings at the moment with 435 points, ahead of Hilde Gerg, (375), and Lindsey Kildow, (348). Although since the world championships all three have rarely shown good form. Can Götschl strengthen her position as the best downhill athlete or will her rivals close the gap on her before the finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland?
DSV hopes for clear improvement
In Are the German women werent able to live up to their own high expectations. After her strong start to the season Hilde Gerg could be left empty handed as the battle for the World Cup super-G and downhill trophies draws to a close. Therefore she will be attacking in San Sicario. Petra Haltmayr will not be able to start due to a bad cold. In the combined event Martina Ertl has a further chance to show her class, and we can also look forward to seeing Monika Bergmann-Schmuderer.
Home advantage for strong Italians
Since the world championships in Santa caterina, the names of a number of young Italian racers are known to a wider audience. Lucia Recchia won world championship silver in the super-G and confirmed her place in the world elite with the third place in Are, Sweden. The Fanchini sisters, Nadia and Elena, could also pull off another surprise in front of a home crowd. On the other hand the established riders in the Italian team, Karen Putzer and Isolde kostner, have been unconvincing lately. With the world championships in their own country, it appears a new generation has risen within the Italian womens team.
The course Freiteve Olympique. Dress rehearsal for Olympic Games
Whoever feels at home in san Sicario can look forward to the Olympic Games in Turin 2006, then in a year from now the tussle for Olympic honours will take place here. Its advisable then to inspect the slope properly beforehand, because no World Cup races were held here last year.
Course name: Freiteve Olympique
Starting altitude: 2,538 m
Finishing altitude: 1,738 m
Vertical drop: 800 m
Course length: 2,720 m
The Freiteve Olympique in profile
The Freiteve starts at the highest point of Mount Freiteve and ends in San Sicario. The slope goes straight into a steep passage in which the athletes immediately reach the maximum speed. There then follows a wooded section which starts with flatter passages but then goes into a steep zone again. The final section contains a jump, after a compression, before the riders cross the finishing line.
Programme of events for San Sicario 2005:
Friday the 25th of February 2005:
Womens super-G, starting at 11am.
Saturday the 26th of February 2005:
Womens downhill, starting at 11am.
Sunday the 27th of February 2005:
Womens combined event:
Combined downhill, starting at 10:30am.
Combined slalom, starting at 1:30pm.
We will be reporting on all of the races in our live-ticker.
San Sicario on the via Lattea
San Sicario is part of the Milky Way, (or Via Lattea). The Milky Way regions connect the old French border town, Montgenévre, with the Italian skiing resorts: Claviére, Cesana, Sestriere and Sauze dOulx. In between them there are 211 slopes, with a total length of about 400 kilometres, that can be reached over 92 lift facilities. San Sicario itself is a town with two faces. Lying near the French border, at an altitude of 1,700 metres, the people here are very aware of their traditons. The old part of the town has been expanded though to include a specialised complex for tourists. One can easily reach the other regions of the Milky Way, in both directions, from here.
Organisation, information and contact
via del Colle 13
10058 fraz. Borgata - Sestriere (TO)
Tel: +39 0122799411 800016645
Fax: +39 0122 799440