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See You In Sölden

Each Autumn, Austria’s favorite glacier hosts a Nordica Test Centre and the Audi FIS Ski World Cup season opener

   

Audi FIS Ski World Cup

Men’s Schedule

 

Women’s Schedule

   

It happens once each autumn and when it does the ski world stops to watch: Sölden, Austria hosts the Audi FIS Ski World Cup season opener. This year it takes place October 21-23, 2016.

As the first major ski race of the season, the world’s greatest alpine skiers show up, primed like race horses and champing at their bits. On the Rettenbach Glacier in the heart of Austria’s Tirol—the cradle of alpine skiing—Nordica’s Felix NeureutherFritz Dopfer, and a herd of the world’s top competitors, line up alongside the course that boasts what The New York Times has called “the longest, steepest, most sustained pitch of any World Cup event.”  

Situated in Austria’s Ötztal Alps, like its racers, Rettenbach Glacier is a phenom unto itself. At more than 3,000 m above sea level it is high enough to sustain snow throughout the year; by October conditions are ideal to host early-season men’s and women’s World Cup Giant Slalom (GS) races. More than 10,000 fans arrive from across North America and Europe to take in the competition, seated in stands that offer close-ups of their heroes as they strive to make an early-season mark. Past winners of Sölden races have included the greats; among them Tina Maze and Didier Cuche. This year’s defending champions: USA’s unstoppable Ted Ligety and Italy’s Federica Brignone.

But GS-style excitement isn’t the only reason skiers show up. Sölden is skiing’s party-central in October, filling up with fans with painted faces, flags, and fanclub placards. The village of Sölden, situated about 14 km from the glacier, is alive from morning ‘til night. The KRONE World Cup Party takes place on Sölden streets, and fans are invited to “Party with the Ö3-PistenBully” each day on Rettenbach.

 

Skiers also come to Sölden in October for the skiing. Rettenbach is connected to the Tiefenbach Glacier via a 1.7 km tunnel named after World Cup skiing icon Rosi Mittermeier. Together this glacial duo boasts 10 lifts and 33 km of skiing—all wide-open, glacier-style terrain with crisp snow and stunning high-alpine views of the Ötztal Valley.

From October to December, Nordica fans are invited to test the latest in Nordica gear. Sölden features a Nordica Test Centre to help demonstrate the latest in skis, boots, poles, helmets and goggles. More than 2,000 consumers sample products here at the beginning of each season. Ski Tuners are on hand to keep the skis in ideal condition. Snacks are served… and of course, there’s always Nordica’s classic Italian espresso!

For more information on the annual Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Sölden, see skiweltcup.Sölden.com/en

 

Lori Knowles

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