Gearing up Friday

16 October 2008 23:00

The American and Austrian women were training in Pitztal on Thursday ahead of the first World Cup race of the season which takes place in ten days time in Soelden.

The Austrian technical team were on the glacier practising their slalom with the likes of Michaela Kirchgasser, Elisabeth Goergl and Kathrin Zettel all honing their techniques, with the first slalom race scheduled for Levi, Finland in mid November.

Conditions were variable at 3400 meters with a clear and calm early morning that was followed by strong winds and clouds after ten o'clock.

It proved to be the last day of training for the Wunderteam who left the resort at the end of the session for some much deserved rest before moving to Soelden at the start of the following week.

Meanwhile the US speed team were practising on a nearby slope but were missing big names like Lindsey Vonn (a day off) and Julia Mancuso (who is following her own program).

However the Americans will be staying for a few more days before also moving to the nearby glacier for the curtain raiser event of the winter.

Resi Stiegler, one of the leading technical racers for the Stars and Stripes, will not be fit in time for the start of the season after injuring her knee over the summer.

It was a major setback for Stiegler who had just recovered from a bad injury sustained last season but the relapse means that she will have to postpone her comeback to later in the winter.