Austrian Team switches to racing mode

21 November 2014 16:59
Thomas Zangerl and Katrin Ofner are ready to defend their national titles
Thomas Zangerl and Katrin Ofner are ready to defend their national titles -

With some intensive preparation weeks in their legs, the Austrian ski cross athletes are looking forward to finally apply what they have learned and worked on during the most recent training camps.

On Saturday, skiers are ready to battle it out in heats of four for National Championships honours on the Pitztal glacier. One day later, an Europa Cup race on the same slope is also on the programme.

“We want to know where we are. As we expect many other nations to compete we will find out our standpoint before heading across the ditch for the World Cup season's opener in Canada,” said ÖSV Ski Cross Head Coach Gerold Posch.

Reigning Austrian SX Champions are Katrin Ofner, who has won the title seven times so far and Thomas Zangerl.

On the women's side, Ofner is expected to go head-to-head with Andrea Limbacher and Christina Staudinger while Zangerl's strongest rivals are Andreas Matt, Johannes Rohrweck as well as Franz Promok and Robert Winkler.

Facing some tough competition, Zangerl, who won his first ever World Cup race at last season's finals in Are, Sweden is optimistic to keep hold to his title: “Other than last year where I had to deal with some rheumatism complaints and couldn't really train over summer I was able to complete the whole preparation programme this time. I'm feeling very strong.”

Ofner added that she is “glad that we finally kick off things again. The races on the glacier are a welcome test of our form. In addition, it's important that we can establish some good routines with the coaching staff as we have some new faces in the crew for the new season.”

Gerold Posch will be assisted by two new coaches: Rasso Rauch (GER) will replace Andreas Hochwimmer in the World Cup team. Lukas Inselsbacher took over responsibility for the Europa Cup Team after Oliver Andorfer retired. In addition, Florian Schwertl started his job as new ski cross wax tech.

Time Schedule

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 (Austrian Championships)
Qualifiers: 10:45 AM CET
Finals: 1 PM CET

Sunday, Nov 23, 2014 (Europa Cup)
Qualifiers: 10:45 AM CET
Finals: 1 PM CET