From Sobretta to Dosso Meralda: a breathtaking track – Second training of the Santa Caterina Valfurva World Cup DH in the morning – It’s going to snow during the training – Kjetil Jansrud with bib 17 and Dominik Paris bib16
We went up, first with the gondola, then on a snowmobile and got on top. Top means cresta Sobretta, where the Deborah Compagnoni slope starts and goes down towards the valley. It was freezing cold: even 15° below zero. Wind blew 50 km/h and more. Let’s know a bit more about this track which is brand new for the World Cup of the ski champions. They too, were freezing up there. Also because last night the wind took the refreshment tent placed near the start – at an altitude of 2750 m. – and moved it into a crevasse. It was impossible to take it, even for the helicopter.
What a thrilling downhill from up there. Almost a leap of faith just like the Streiff slope in Kitzbuehel. First of all a jump among the rocks at Crap del Ricc – the nickname of the family of the Colonel, the great Tino Pietrogiovanna, head coach of the 2005 World Cup and Deborah’s coach. He loves Deborah as a daughter. He is the director and architect of the track dedicated to her. An almost obligatory track carved into the mountain: a lot of curves up to the parabolic curve named Daytona by Hannes Trinkl – the FIS director for fast races – the day he analysed the course in October and gave green light. The first half time, then the Sobretta wall and the jumps of Reti and “Gallo” (the “Gallo Forcello” roaster is a rare species in the wonderful Stelvio National Park). It’s in front of the Königsspitze mountain chain which is without snow, because that’s where the sun is. On the Sobretta mountain side, instead, the sun doesn’t show up even on Christmas holidays and the course slides down the with pleasure along the Canalino towards Piano di Plaghera, where the second half time is.
That’s not only a girls’ course. This one in Santa Caterina is really tough and must be taken seriously, even after the lift and the Gimondi curve, when it plunges into the wood in the Fank area (third half time). Alberto Dei Cas was a brilliant cyclist with a nickname, “Gimondi occhi rotondi”, before a bad accident right on the curve (the Gimondi one) took his life in the late ’70s. But the friends of Alta Valtellina didn’t forget him and dedicated that curve to him, from where you have keep a good speed to face the final part of the Deborah Compagnoni the best way and from where – with jumps and bumps – you get to Meralda finish line, above the Gondola Station.