Anna Fenninger has the privilege of opening up the first race of the 2013 – 2014 World Cup season. The blond haired 24 year old from Austria ended last season in a rich vein of form and will be hoping that she can use the early start number tactically to the best of her ability. With the top seven going in this order … Fenninger; Viktoria Rebensburg; Lara gut; Kathrin Zettel; defending GS Champion Tina Maze; Maria Hoefl-Riesch and then Tessa Worley, the GS World Champion from Schladming. In the second group of racers fourteen and fifteen are the two Americans, Julia Mancuso and Mikaela Shiffrin.
With perfect weather conditions expected for the race, maybe a hint of the Fern wind (a warm wind) coming in, the visibility is expected to be good for the opening of the World Cup. After two days of press conferences and explaining how the summer has gone, now is the time for the gloves to come off and the racers to let their skiing do the talking. It may just be October and the weather may be more akin to early autumn but the winter is almost here for the Olympic World Cup season.
Fenninger will kick out the start gate on the Rettenbach Glacier at nine thirty European time (08.30 UK time) and the first run, already set has 48 gates with 45 changes of direction – it was set by the French coach Pierre Yves Albrieux; Italian Luca Magoni will set the second run. 67 racers go to the start in the first run with the fastest 30 getting a second run!
The World Cup needs good weather for the opening race of the season for so many reasons: Good weather looks great on the TV and this hopefully transfers into increased early season tourists. This helps every one. From the holiday lettings to the shops selling and hiring kit. If the weather is poor then this dampens the experience. Tomorrow it looks as though the weather Gods are going to play ball. Tonight all the racers have the same points, the same hopes, the same everything – tomorrow there will be the first leader of the 2013 – 2014 World Cup season…
But who will win? That you will have to wait and see and watch on the television if you are lucky enough to be near one!