Countdown to Ruka and Park City for Italian team
Just two short weeks before the season start, Italian head coach Jochen Strobl assesses the situation of his team. „We tried to follow the same path as in the past year“, he said on fisi.org. „This year, Alessandro Pittin has been training with the team a lot and the rest of the group greatly benefits from that. His presence is very important in terms of the motivation.“
The good results of the past seasons have given way to years of transitional results lately but Strobl remains optimistic: „I think it’s a natural phase of growth of the group. The average age is quite low and a period of strong growth lead to a period of adjustment that coincidentally fell together with Alessandro’s injuries. Now this stage is passed and we are all ready to proceed with enthusiasm.“
For the first competitions in Scandinavia and the Italian starters Pittin, Costa, Bauer and Maierhofer, Strobl is trying to keep the expectations down, though. „Because of the large hill competitions, we should not expect too much from Alessandro. He has been training well and feeling at peace but has to maintain this pace to return to the top ranks.“ Finnish jumping coach Kimmo Savolainen worked quite extensively on Pittin’s technique during the summer, especially from the large hill to increase stability and consistency
„Armin Bauer is jumping more consistently than last season and has so far performed on a good level. Samuel Costa is also jumping strongly but the jumping part is his strong suit anyway. Unlike the other Italian starters, Samuel has a bit more difficulties in the races but also the quality to improve this aspect. Manuel Maierhofer needs to collect a lot of high level experience.“
For the first Continental Cup competitions in Park City, USA, the Italian team will send Lukas and Mattia Runggaldier. „There is no question about Lukas’ technical and physical abilities but he has not found the right jump until now. He will start in the USA to score points before Christmas and could be starting in the World Cup in Ramsau“, Strobl explained his plan for the Continental Cup team.