Enormous efforts underway to stage Audi FIS Alpine Ski Champions Cup in Moscow
The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup slalom opening took place in excellent conditions north of the Polar Circle at Levi (FIN) and saw exciting races with Maria Riesch (GER) and Reinfried Herbst (AUT) emerging as the season's first winners (for full coverage, make sure to visit www.fisalpine.com).
After the Levi weekend, Moscow (RUS) is scheduled to host the 2nd edition of the Audi FIS Alpine Ski Champions Cup taking place this Saturday on November 21st 2009, before both the ladies' and men's tours will head to North America. Currently final preparations on the approximately 200 meter ramp are underway and since 16th November, the organizers have been working in three shifts around-the-clock to make sure everything will be ready for the 2nd city parallel slalom promotional event on Saturday night.
Heavy rain and unseasonably warm temperatures of up to 12°C have challenged the preparations in Moscow. The distribution of the snow on the ramp was delayed until a few days ago to avoid the snow melting away. The snow used for the ramp is brought in from the modern Snow Dome Krasnogorsk, Moscow's new indoor ski facility as well as snow produced on site and trucked in.
"We are confident that it will be a great show here. However, due to the challenging weather conditions, enormous efforts are still needed to prepare the slope for the event. We only expect to be finished with the final preparations just a few hours before the race," commented Günter Hujara, FIS Chief Race Director for the Alpine men.
Moscow is set to see a strong field and the athletes and coaches are all excited for the big showdown this Saturday. The local organizing committee has invited the world's best alpine skiers with many top-14 male and top-7 female athletes along with three promising Russian athletes (two men and a lady) who will be granted wild cards for the contest. The participating athletes include Levi winners Maria Riesch (GER) and Reinfried Herbst (AUT) along with Jean-Baptiste Grange (FRA), Manfred Pranger (AUT) and Julien Lizeroux (FRA) and others.