Hermann Maier is a new member of the Head Racing Team. In this interview the Austrian talks about switching to Head and the preparation for the first World Cup competition of this winter in Soelden.
Ski2b.com: Hermann, you chose to change the ski brand after so many years in the World Cup. What was your motivation to do so in the end?
Hermann Maier: I've actually experienced almost everything during my career - except the change of equipment. The thing is to try out something new, get a new stimulation, seek new challenges. As long as I have the possibility to do so and to take part actively in competitions I'd still like to enjoy and experience new things.
Ski2b: In the last World Cup season Head was top of the list in the speed disciplines, lots of top-skiers are signed to Head. Your new brand mates bear big names, as Bode Miller, Didier Cuche or Marco Buechel - how much of an additional motivation is that for you?
Hermann: The success of the Head team - especially in the speed disciplines - played a major role in my decision. The new band mates' names are not important though - I know them all pretty well. And also in the Atomic team I've had to cope with lots of strong competitors.
Ski2b: You're known to work meticulously with your equipment. How much work is still lying ahead of you in finetuning your Head equipment for the winter's first competition in Soelden?
Hermann: That's the main part of the challenge - a training camp in Chile in August will play a decisive role there. Of course you always hope to be happy with the results and I hope to find back to my old strength.
Ski2b: What else is on your agenda concerning the preparation for the coming World Cup winter? When did you start the first training camp on snow and what is the focus from now on?
Hermann: The training began in April. At first we did a basic endurance training, followed by more specific training modules. Concerning endurance, I'm in quite a good shape right now. In Chile the task is mainly to become acquainted with the new material.
Ski2b: What are your goals for the coming World Cup winter, a season without major events?
Hermann: Although there are no medals to be hunted, there are still a lot of important events. It starts in Soelden, for example, where I won in 2005. And then there are all these classics which I am looking forward to in excitement, especially with the new material.
Ski2b: There will be a new rule for the starting order in the coming World Cup season. What do you think about that?
Hermann: That surely is a step in the right direction. Although - concerning downhill - the old rule was valid only for one World Cup season. Time will tell about the effects of the new rule.
Ski2b: Hermann, thank you very much for this interview and all the best for the coming World Cup season.