Men's last downhill before year end in Bormio, Italy

27 December 2010 07:40

Bormio hosts the latest round of the men's World Cup before year’s-end, featuring a downhill competition. The ski resort, where the World Championships in 1985 were held, is a regular stop on the World Cup circuit, usually by the men in mid to late December.

It is indeed no coincidence that the jet men of the White Circus who meet in Bormio at the end of each year consider the Stelvio piste as providing some of the best and most difficult downhill skiing in the world. In Bormio it is possible to ski down one of the greatest drops found anywhere in the Alps: without ever needing to take the skis off it is possible to descend from 3.000 to 1225 meter, form the Valletta peak, right into town.

Bormio has often been a land of conquest for the Austrian Wunderteam and just as often got the Azzurri bitterness and disappointment. The red-white-red men’s speed team landed 11 victories over the past 20 downhills in Bormio (including the 2005 World Championship). Twice it was Hannes Trinkl (1993, 2000) who took the first spot on the podium and in 2006 Michael Walchhofer celebrated a double victory, the last win for the Austrians. An year later, America’s Bode Miller claimed victory and in 2008 Italy’s Christof Innerhofer managed to win and hoist the Italian flag on the tallest flagpole. Unfortunately Innerhofer was not able to repeat his success last year but instead the Slovenian Andrej Jerman was clocked with the fastest time in 2009.

The Austrians however showed in the previous downhills that they are strong this season and will try their best to capture the 12th win on the Stelvio piste. Mario Scheiber is reported to be back while Benjamin Raich decided to leave out the last World Cup race of 2010. Scheiber had injured the capsule on his already battered right knee in a crash on 15 December's in the downhill training in Val Gardena and ended the super-G after a few gates. He also did not participate in the pre-Christmas downhill training in Hinterstoder but is now ready to charge the difficult slope in the Italian Dolomites.

The overall World Cup winner Carlo Janka from Switzerland will not be at the start in Bormio. The Olympic champion in giant slalom suffers from a lack of fitness and energy due to a viral disease that afflicted him during the summer. Despite Janka's absence the Swiss will be well represented by Didier Cuche, who finished second in Bormio in 2006, Silvan Zurbriggen who has skied surprisingly well in downhill this season with a first place finish in Val Gardena and a fourth place in Lake Louise.

Don’t miss the action when the men race down the downhill course on Wednesday, 29 December 2010, in the last World Cup race of this year. There will be two training days on Monday and Tuesday, 27 and 28 December 2010.