The tiredness of the long journey from Colorado to Milan hasn’t taken the smile off the face of our “azzurri” back from three amazing days in Beaver Creek. The FISI President Flavio Roda “cuddles” the directors Claudio Ravetto and Max Carca, and Davide Simoncelli and Matteo Marsaglia, two of the “azzurri” who were on the stars and stripes podium. Christof Innerhofer is in great (voice) shape on the phone: he’s the winner of the Birds of Prey DH, his second DH World Cup victory after the triumph in Bormio in 2008.
Marsaglia made his debut a few months earlier, in February 2008. He suffered from many injuries, but thanks to his strenght he’s now got his first career victory. He’s 27 years old and he is considered a young one in the team. He was born in Rome and grew up in Sansicario to pursue the family passion (his sister is a member of the “azzurri” team too), and has now become one of the strongest SG racers in the world.
Matteo chuckles and says “I don’t want to be a braggart…but the result in Beaver Creek is no big surprise; I skied very well in the training. Beaver Creek is probably the slope that suits me the best. It’s technical, steep, and tough. I love the Kvitfjell and Kitzbuehel SG as well.
“When dealing with DH, I feel less confident, I still have to improve in order to be competitive; I suffered from many injuries but now that I’m feeling better and I’m more experienced, I realize I can better.”
DH skiers become experts later if compared to racers in other disciplines. The average age is about thirty. A super champion such as Cuche kept winning and winning when he was in his thirties.
Marsaglia says: “Experience, together with a perfect physical preparation, is essential when dealing with DH – and I often missed the last one because of the many injuries I suffered. I got slapped twice in Bormio. I got a really heavy one in December 2008, in the final part, where I was exhausted.
He also remembers that “last year I did very well during the training: I was second and eleventh. The race was bad for me because the snow conditions changed and I didn’t adapt to them. But this year … I really feel this is the right time! And not only for me but also for my teammates Innerhofer, Fill, Paris, Heel…all of them. We are experienced, we are well trained, fast and strong. “
Marsaglia adds that: “Bormio is my race, my DH. It’s the most suitable for me – and in general for the team. My current goal is to be in the top 30, but I believe I can do well. The team feels great. We are all doing our best in order to take part in the Schladmig World Cup. I feel confident for what SG is concerned and I dream of being that confident in DH too.”
Next men’s races (a giant slalom and a slalom) will be in Val d’Isere this weekend. The long Italian journey will begin on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 with the SG and DH in Val Gardena. Sunday 16, giant slalom in Alta Badia. Tuesday 18, slalom in Madonna di Campiglio and then – on December 29 – Bormio!