The 2020 World Cup season is scheduled to kick off on October 26-27 with the men and women set to race giant slalom down Soelden, Austria’s Rettenbach Glacier. Organizers announced on Friday that preparations are well under way and on schedule for racing at the end of the month.
With the last two men’s races in Soelden cancelled due to bad weather, fingers are crossed for clear skies and fast racing for this year’s races. The last men’s winner in Soelden was France’s Alexis Punturault in 2016.
Soelden hosted its first World Cup race in 1993 and became the regular opening stop on Tour in 2000.
The Soelden races coincide with Austria’s National Day on October 27 and the glacier looks to be in good shape after a September inspection by FIS concluded that preparations were ahead of schedule thanks to a strong 2018-19 winter that left a substantial snowpack that has carried over into this season.
“The basic preparation from the start to the bottom of the steep slope is complete and we are now tackling hard work in the lower flat part of the track, which can be done completely by machine,” said Isidor Gruener, Soelden Piste Chief. “The deposits of spring snow are huge and we will bring a nice, continuous gradient to the finish.”
With 30 to 40 centimeters of fresh snow in the forecast for Soelden this weekend, snow will not be in short supply for this season’s edition of the World Cup opener.
Information courtesy of the Austrian Press Agency.