Italy’s Sports Director Massimo Rinaldi voices the team’s ambitions after two straight podiums in slalom, ahead of their home race at 3Tre on Wednesday January 8th
Just 48 hours are left before the most anticipated date for the Italian ski lovers, waiting to take part to another can’t-miss show of sports and atmosphere of the Canalone Miramonti slope on Wednesday January 8th in Madonna di Campiglio (Italy). It is going to be the 66th time for 3Tre, the FIS World Cup event that saw the greatest number of wins by the Italian national team – 13. Nevertheless, 2005 was the last time home fans saw the Italian flag wave on Madonna: it was Giorgio Rocca who broke a 10-year drought after the third of Alberto Tomba’s successes (1995).
The last two Italian winners of 3Tre will be in the event’s parterre on Wednesday, with the hope of finally meeting their successor. The results of the slalom in Zagreb on Sunday January 5th gave new reasons for confidence and enthusiasm.
Two podiums in the last two slaloms, with two different athletes – veteran and Trentino-local Stefano Gross in Val d’Isere, and first-timer Alex Vinatzer in Zagreb, topping a solid team performance with Manfred Moelgg and Simon Maurberger also in the top-10 – are a very good way to approach the anticipated home fixture.
“We were really glad about this team result,” told Italian National Team’s Sports Director Massimo Rinaldi. “Alex has been long compared to Clement Noel, so to claim his first podium along with him is also important, and there’s still room for improvement. Results are starting to come also by athletes like Maurberger, who won the European Cup last year, and Tommaso Sala, two prospects from the “B Team” project started two years ago. Federico Liberatore is another guy from that group whom we are very confident in. “
Now it’s time for 3Tre, second slalom out seven in just one month: “It is very important to get in a good momentum for this stretch, and we have started on the right foot,” Rinaldi told. “Campiglio is very different from Zagreb. There is no flat on the Canalone Miramonti, and that’s better for our athletes, who love hard and technical terrain. On the other hand, they will have to deal with the pressure of competing ahead of home fans – and a big number of. No other venue in Italy has such an atmosphere, it’s a legitimate World Cup classic that has always improved since getting back i the World Cup. They have showed that good work always pays off.”
Eyes will be on Vinatzer, and beyond: “Alex is young, but he does thrive under pressure, and Canalone Miramonti is his favorite course. Last year he was eighth after the first run and made a mistake in the second for daring too much – that says a lot about his racing approach. Gross was the last Italian podium finisher in Madonna, Moelgg loves skiing on hard and technical terrais, Razzoli was 5th last year with bib 69. After Hirscher, the World Cup has still to find a new reference point, and I believe Italy can confidently go for a major result on Wednesday.”
Teams have started arriving on Monday in the Pearl of the Dolomites, whose view is dominated by the beautiful and looming presence of the Canalone Miramonti, prepped to perfection. The weather announces sun and chilly temperature for the whole week, meaning there is no better moment to come and enjoy Madonna – both on and off the slopes.
The show starts tomorrow, Tuesday January 7th, with the public bib draw at 7 PM. In Piazza Sissi, featuring the greatest slalom specialists in the World along with several special guests. The program of Wednesday January 8th features the first run at 17.45, followed by the second and decisive run at 20.45. In the space between the two runs, the 3Tre Hour will entertain the fans in Piazza Sissi, whilst the 3Tre Party Night will provide the perfect closure to an exciting day.