Catching up with the German team
With two days to go until the second race of the season, Maria Riesch, Viktoria Rebensburg, Lena Dürr and Fritz Dopfer shared some thoughts on Soelden, Levi plans for the future and the highlight of this season – the World Championships in Schladiming (AUT) in February 2013.
The World Cup opening in Soelden was a tough race! What kind of lessons are you bringing into the seasons form it?
Viktoria Rebensburg: “Naturally, the second run in Soelden was not very positive for me but I am taking some important experience into the next races. In the first run, things went well and also the new material worked well. Both my performance and third place after the first run were good. The first race of the season is always something special and DNFs can always happen. What counts is that physically I feel very fit and healthy, Soelden is now out of my mind and I am looking ahead to Aspen.”
Fritz Dopfer: "The disappointment was huge because I've been waiting and hoping for something good. Then, in the second race unfortunately my ski fell off. In the first round I was seventh at the bottom of the steep part, quite a good start but then I lost a lot at the bottom. This result might have had something to do with not having really executed things that well technically, but also with the poor weather conditions – it was far from optimal for the first skiers. I have to get over it, look forward, and hope that all runs better in Levi. "
After some difficult racing conditions in Soelden due to bad weather, there have been discussions about taking the first run as the final result in case of cancellation. What is your opinion?
Maria Höfl-Riesch: “I personally like this idea. We have already been discussing about it in Soelden in our team. When we were standing in the starting area waiting for the second run to begin, it looked like it wouldn’t be possible anymore. I would have been a little mad if they had cancelled the race then. I was really happy and surprised about my 7th position from the first run and it would have been a shame if everything would have been for nothing. When looking over to other FIS disciplines such as Ski Jumping, the rule is to make the first run count if the second one gets cancelled. Why shouldn’t it be the same for us? I would like this idea.”
Fritz Dopfer: "In Giant Slalom and Slalom there are two runs and I think the rule is good. I do not think it makes sense to evaluate a race after the first run, since the starting order is an advantage for the low numbers. In the interests of fairness, it is always very important that there are two races.”
Following Levi, the speed races will take place overseas. How did the preparations go for these disciplines during your summer training?
Maria Höfl-Riesch: “Summer preparations went really well. We have had really good training conditions. Adapting to the new skis is similar in the speed disciplines as it is in Giant Slalom. If the snow is soft and speed is lower, you feel that the material is different. But altogether it went really well. After the races in Finland we will directly head to the United States to do some speed training at Copper Mountain. It is difficult here in Europe to have a good speed training on the glaciers, that’s why I am really looking forward to the United States.”
The World Championships will be taking place from 4th to 17th February 2013 in Schladming. How excited are you?
Maria Höfl-Riesch: “I am super excited! It will be a real ski festival and I have heard that all races are sold out and they are expecting about 40.000 spectators at each one. It will be a great event featuring a great atmosphere! It’s the highlight of the season and I am hoping to be in good shape throughout the season, ski some good races and attack in Schladming with a high self-esteem.”
Fritz Dopfer: "It is a very special event for me, but he first goal is to qualify for it. As of today I have not yet qualified so it will be important for me to express my power, and gain confidence. If all goes well, I hope to start in the World Championships. Then in Schladming, I would for sure give it my best. "
What’s your training schedule in the next few weeks?
Viktoria Rebensburg: “I will be training in Austria and hope to find good conditions. On the 10th of November, I will already head over to the United States where we are planning to train in Vail and Cooper Mountain. Afterwards, Aspen will be just around the corner.”
Next to Giant Slalom and Slalom, your main disciplines, you are looking into integrating Super-G in your Wold Cup programme. Is this correct?
Lena Dürr: “I will have to see how things are going. In St. Moritz, I will most likely compete in the Super Combined and Super-G as there is a Giant Slalom on the programme right after. Then, if we see that Giant Slalom and Slalom are both are going well, I will add some Super-G to my list. If it’s difficult, I will concentrate on my specialities in order to qualify for the World Championships and be able to race within the top positions. However, it’s my long-term aim to step into the Super-G but I am not stressing out about it. If I am feeling good and time allows it, I would also like to race a Downhill one day.”
You could be capturing the crystal globe for the third time in a row in Giant Slalom. Only Switzerland’s Lise-Marie Morerod has won it twice in 1976 and 1978. Are you trying to set a new record?
Viktoria Rebensburg: “I wouldn’t have anything against it but it is a hard thing to plan. There are a lot of things, which the outcome will depend on. I am also feeling good this year and the first run in Soelden showed that I am heading into the right direction. But the other girls have also trained hard and there will be quite a number of races until the end of the season. I am sure happy to be in the position of thinking about it.”
How have preparations for the slalom in Levi been going?
Lena Dürr: “We have been training hard for the Giant Slalom opening and now we will have to adapt to Slalom again. It is also important to test the new material but I should be in good shape for Levi.”
Fritz Dopfer: "I am happy that I did not need surgery after injuring my hand so I could prepare for the Slalom in Levi. Before Sölden of course we trained quite a bit of Giant Slalom but for Levi I will focus the training on Slalom and hope to go into the race with a lot of confidence. The last days before leaving for Levi are aimed at getting the hand to heal and some dryland training. Of course I want to leave Levi with as many World Cup points as possible. "
As the German team seems fit and in good spirits, we wish them all the best and look forward to seeing some of them in action this weekend in Levi.
Courtesy of Skiweltcup.TV