THE COMPAGNONI TRACK – A STAGE FOR REAL MEN
Last year the images of Christof Innerhofer with a pole stuck to his helmet for more than 20 seconds after hitting a gate before Salto del Gallo (now jump Innerhofer) went viral and brought gasps of surprise all over the world, even in countries where snow is only an abstract concept. The downhill event in general was a success and at the end of the season it was reported as the most spectacular and intense alpine skiing event of the season.
It was not a result of chance because “Deborah Compagnoni” is a track worth its name. Deborah herself says it: “Skiing on this track for me is a journey back to when I was a child, when I played with my brother Yuri and I hid among the rocks or in the woods, when I faced the first difficulties with my skis on. I trained on this mountain with the help of my father Giorgio and between jumps, humps and bumps I learned those fundamental techniques that brought me World Cup, Winter Olympics and World Championships victories.”
The track was named “Deborah Compagnoni” in 2005, when it was completed up to river Frodolfo to host the women’s World Cup competitions. That edition was dominated by two extraordinary champions: the Croatian Janica Kostelic and Swedish Anja Pearson. Italy discovered the talent of the Fanchini sisters – even if only Elena managed to get on the podium with a silver medal – and Lucia Recchia got a Super-G bronze medal. Those were days full of magic that made people discover the full potential of the mount Sobretta’s track.
In 2014 that potential made it possible to organize – in just two months –the men’s downhill World Cup race, dominated – in the blizzard – by the American Travis Ganong . The following summer the “Compagnoni” slope was substantially modified to create an even better show, under the leadership of Deborah’s former coach Tino Pietrogiovanna and Omar Galli. The start was moved up to Sobretta peak, wide areas to grant safety in case of fall were created, and technical sections were highlighted. So, in the end, the slope featured a complete sample of all possible difficulties a jet man can face: 1005 meters of vertical drop, six jumps, compressions, parabolic, bumps within different curves, light changes and high speed.
Well, all ingredients for a great show are on the table, just like demonstrated by the victory – in 2015 – of a refine athlete such as Adrien Theaux. Once again racers will be there to see who is the best and the bravest.
Characteristics of the race track
Start: 2750 m
Arrival: 1745 m
Vertical drop: 1005 m
Length: 3100 m