The opening of the 2017/18 Audi FIS Ski World Cup is finally here. On 28th and 29th October, the new season gets underway with men’s and a ladies’ giant slaloms on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden (AUT).
Soelden is always a good opportunity for athletes to evaluate their summer training. After months of preparation, both on and off the snow, athletes finally have the chance to assess the form and earn their first World Cup points.
On the ladies’ side, Tessa Worley (FRA), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Sofia Goggia (ITA) could walk away with the first win of the season while on the men’s side, Alexis Pinturault, Mathieu Faivre (both FRA), Felix Neureuther (GER) and Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) have good chances to make a podium.
Due to pre-season injuries, some of the big stars are missing out on the season opener. Lara Gut (SUI), Eva-Maria Brem, Anna Veith (both AUT), Ilka Stuhec (SLO), Marcel Hirscher, Philipp Schörghofer (both AUT), Carlo Janka (SUI) and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) will not be starting in Soelden.
“The Rettenbach glacier is in the best shape we’ve seen in a long time”, said FIS ladies’ Chief Race Director Atle Skaardal. “A number of teams had the rare opportunity to train on the race slope last week prior to Sunday, when the racers were no longer permitted by rules to ski on the slope in advance of the scheduled competitions” he continued.
“Everyone raved about the shape that the slope is in, and winter-like conditions should prevail in the area throughout this week,” added the men’s Chief Race Director Markus Waldner.
Numerous press conferences ahead
In the coming days, hundreds of journalists are expected to arrive in Soelden and it will be a busy schedule leading up to the opening races. Numerous press conferences hosted by the FIS Ski World Cup partners, ski industry companies and top athletes (click here) will be followed by the traditional FIS Forum Alpinum on Friday, 27th October (view details here).