VAL GARDENA ALTA BADIA
Despite its storied spot on the World Cup, few really know what to expect from Val Gardena, Italy.
We do know some things. The downhill track, the
Saslong, requires a good pilot — one comfortable with
negotiating nine major jumps and enough bumps to
force a racer airborne as many as 30 times in a two-minute run.
We also know that visibility can play a major role, as it
did in the Dec. 12 super G. “The shadows drift across
the course as the day goes on,” says Steven Nyman,
the only American to have won a downhill at Val Gardena (2006). “Early starters have vision up top, but the
Camel bumps in the Ciaslat are very dark. For later
starters, there is light in the Ciaslat, but it’s dark up
This season it was wind that caused the cancellation
of the downhill after 21 racers had completed the race.
And it was snow that factored into the super G, slowing
the course, dulling the light and heightening the shadows.
Bode Miller got an early start number, eight, and used
that to collect his second podium result of the season.
That’s two more than he had at this moment a season
ago and one fewer than he earned through the entire
2011 campaign. Young Swiss Beat Feuz had never
VAL GARDENA — AND MOTHER NATURE — SCHOOL SPEED TEAMS WHILE ALTA BADIA GIVES AN A TO TOP TECH RACERS BLARDONE AND HIRSCHER BY HANK MCKEE
Fierce winds caused
of Val Gardena’s