On Saturday December 22nd, the two champions will square off in the spotlights of the Canalone Miramonti, live on TV in the whole World. Both will aim for a third success to equal Alberto Tomba, and to wear the glorious “Maglia Fulmine”. Record breaking audience expected, with Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini also in attendance
3Tre has reached the 65th edition’s threshold, but time never seems to pass for the Italian slalom classic in Madonna di Campiglio, beneath the stunning Brenta Dolomites. Its history has been made by timeless champions - Gustav Thoeni, Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba – and the present is just as charming, with the Audi FIS World Cup Night slalom on Saturday December 22nd on the mythical Canalone Miramonti slope – 1st run 3.45PM CET, 2nd run 6.45PM CET.
The Italian World Cup classic, the only Men’s slalom of the circuit to be held in Italy, is warming up for another enticing showdown in Val Rendena, where the World Cup has found a home since the very first edition: indeed, 3Tre is the most historical alpine ski competition in Italy. The atmosphere will be guaranteed by the boost of the Canalone Miramonti, framed by a show of public like you don’t see very often on a ski slope. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini’s attendance, alpine ski enthusiast and frequent visitor of 3Tre, is announced.
An additional motivation will inspire the slalom contenders: this year, 3Tre brought back from the past the “Maglia Fulmine” (Flash Jersey), a symbol from a glorious past, notably the 50’s, when 3Tre meant “3 gare in TREntino” (three races in Trentino), and the leader of the classification after each of the stages used to wear a yellow jersey, inspired by the Tour de France. That was the Maglia Fulmine. In collaboration with Italian premium brand Falconeri, the 3Tre Committee fulfilled the dream to revive an immortal symbol, that will be awarded to the champion on the highest step of the podium at the end of the two runs.
There’s little doubt on who should be considered the favorite. As seasons pass by, Marcel Hirscher keeps leaving very little on the road to his rivals, and in 2017 the Austian managed to leave his mark on 3Tre five years after the first time, in 2012, the year of 3Tre’s return to the World Cup scene. Austrian chiampion conquered the first two season’s slaloms in Levi (Finland) and on Thursday in Saalbach – at 3Tre he could now become the one and only athlete to achieve 15 World Cup wins in a single calendar year. The most accredited rival is quite as assumed as the favorite: Henrik Kristoffersen shares with Hirscher the number of wins on the Canalone Miramonti – two, taken in 2015 and 2016, when he looked destined to interrupt the Austrian’s domination on the FIS carousel. Both will have a shot at the Maglia Fulmine, and also to a special place in the 3Tre history: behind Ingemar Stenmark (5 wins), only one athlete could win the 3Tre slalom three times, and it was Alberto Tomba. That would be a nice company to be in.
Behind the two undisputed leaders of the discipline in recent years, a group of outsiders: the first is Swiss Loic Meillard, second place in Saalbach and third in the slalom ranking. 22-years old champion won’t be the only Swiss team athlete competing to win: fellow countrymen Daniel Yule, Ramon Zenhaeusern and Luca Aerni (last year’s second place) could threaten the eve's favourites, thus interrupting the 109-slalom winless streak for Switzerland in the specialty. Besides leader Hirscher, Austria has at least three more athletes with a shot to the podium: Michael Matt (the younger brother of 2000 3Tre winner Mario Matt), Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz, who ranked third at the 2015 3Tre. Moreover, the French Team bet on young athlete Clement Noel, who last year was the youngest athlete to qualify for the second run in Trentino – and on Alexis Pinterault’s experience. Furthermore, veterans like Swede Andrè Myhrer and German Felix Neureuther (3Tre winner in 2014) should also be watched carefully. Home-favorite Italy team will count on Trentino-born Stefano Gross and Southtyrolean Manfred Moelgg as they try to collect the first satisfactions of the season in the disciplines, with youngster Alex Vinatzer and 2010 Olympic champion Giuliano Razzoli also hoping to feature significantly. The last Italian champion to win on Canalone Miramonti slope was Giorgio Rocca in 2005.
Expectation is in the air in the “Pearl of the Dolomites”, where the Christmas atmosphere has taken all over the place. The FIS “snow control” ended with an excellent outcome: the Canalone Miramonti is in great shape, tough and demanding ad ever, intimidating even for the most accomplished athletes. That’s what makes 3Tre and Madonna di Campiglio a land of conquer for great champions: Colò, Thoeni, Gros, Stenmark, Zurbriggen, Girardelli, Tomba, and more recently Matt, Miller, Kostelic, Rocca, Neureuther, Kristoffersen and Hirscher.
While waiting the rapid gates top champions, today on Friday, December 21st is scheduled the Public Draw. At 7PM CET, the world’s slalom leading 15 athletes will join the bib draw. What’s more, some Italian champions will also take part to the event like middle-distance runner Yeman Crippa, 10.000 mt European bronze medallist, downhill athlete Daniela Merighetti and former giant slalomist Manuela Moelgg who retired last March. Before the Public Draw, at 5.30PM CET, the traditional event entitled 3Tre Legend takes place to present a special showcase featuring the top ski brands like Barilla, Colmar, Martini and Piz Buin.
As usual for the Madonna’s event, a huge crowd is expected to frame the two sides of the slopes, whilst million of TV spectators will watch the two runs (15.45 and 18.45 CET) from every corner of the World. 3Tre is going to be live-broadcasted in all European countries, in Asia and USA. In Madonna di Madonna di Campiglio, the TV production of both runs will be realized with 4K-Ultra HD technology: that’s the very first time that such innovation is employed for a FIS World Cup race. This debut has been made possible by the collaboration between Infront Sports & Media, international TV rights holder for the entire Alpine World Cup, Euroscena and DBW Communication.