U.S. women ski racers in final prep in Austria
SOELDEN, Austria – U.S. alpine women, training this week on two glaciers in Austria, will regroup briefly in Soelden, Austria before the top technical skiers prepare for the World Cup opener Oct. 26 on the Rettenbach Glacier.
Storms have rolled through the higher elevations in central Europe during the past week or so, leaving up to two meters of snow in various areas. Soelden, which hosts the men’s and women’s World Cup openers Oct. 25-26, got about two meters, according to U.S. women’s head coach Patrick Riml, and is working to pack the soft surface.
“Everybody’s pretty much in the same boat because of the snow,” Riml said.
“You can’t expect hard snow right away when you get two meters; really, I’m surprised at how good it is after just three days. Soelden opened its hill last Friday and, yeah, for sure, it’s soft … but they’ve done a good job in getting it sorted out.”
U.S. women will hold a time trial to determine who fills the final World cup start spot.
The winner – among Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, Wash.), Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) and Kaylin Richardson (Edina, Minn.) – will join Clark, Sarah Schleper (Vail), Kristina Koznick (Eagan, Minn.), Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs), and Nor Am giant slalom champion Jessica Kelley (Starksboro, Vt.), who will make her World Cup debut in the opening race Oct. 25.
Men return to glaciers
SOELDEN, Austria – U.S. slalom and giant slalom skiers returned to the snow this week after heavy snows and poor weather at the Rettenbach Glacier above Soelden delayed their final preseason training camp.
Downhillers, meanwhile, continued training at the Grand Mott Glacier above Tignes, France.
The Rettenbach will be the site Oct. 25-26 of the opening races in the World Cup season. The women will run giant slalom on Oct. 25 and the men will compete the next day before everyone heads back to North America.
The Chevy Truck America’s opening men’s giant slalom and slalom at Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort will be Nov. 22-23; the women’s schedule will resume Nov. 28-29 with a second weekend of America’s Opening festivities in Park City.
U.S. men have seven spots in the first giant slalom race.
Bode Miller and Erik Schlopy will be joined by newlywed Daron Rahlves, Dane Spencer, Thomas Vonn, and Nor Am champ Jesse Marshall, making his World Cup debut.
The final spot will be determined Friday in a time trial, head coach Phil McNichol said.
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