The first Andorran ever to qualify for the World Cup Finals promises to give his best in the Giant Slalom on Saturday
This Tuesday, the Andorran skier Joan Verdú appeared publicly after his historical classification for the Alpine Ski World Cup Finals. The FAE (Andorran Ski Federation) racer, visibly proud and satisfied with having achieved the milestone, said that although the goal had been to qualify, in Saturday’s Giant Slalom, "I won’t just be cruising. I want to execute a decent race in front of all of you. I want to show what I am capable of." In fact, anticipation is at an all-time high, as tickets to watch the competitions on Saturday from the stands have already sold out. Given the exceptional nature of the moment, Verdú exclusively unveiled the design of the special edition helmet that he will wear for the big event, reflecting the tremendous reception and support that he is getting from the Andorran public.
At the press conference, which coincided with Andorran Constitution Day, the sportsman detailed that, given that he will not have a very favourable bib number on the first run, his intention is to have a solid first descent to ensure passage to the second run, where "I hope to get the most out of myself and that my skiing will work its magic."
Verdú added that he knows the course and its key points well, which might give him a slight advantage over the rest of the racers. He is also confident that the course will allow all racers to compete on equal terms, as it has a "very good base" that has been worked on since the beginning of the season.
Better conditions on the second day of DH training
The Àliga course in El Tarter hosted the second day of training for the Downhill event this Tuesday. Aleksander Kilde, who already has the Crystal Globe for this discipline in the bag and who finished in 12th position in training, highlighted the improvement in snow conditions, which makes it likely that "higher speeds will be seen” in the race on Wednesday. In fact, the combination of rain and cold temperatures over the last few hours has meant that the course is in a better state than it was on Monday, which the best skier overall for this season, Marco Odermatt, also attested to: "It has been a good training session, because last night it was cold. The weather has been challenging, but they’re doing a great job and I hope the wind will die down tomorrow." For her part, the 2023 DH Crystal Globe winner Sofia Goggia also confirmed that the course was harder than it had been on Monday, which allows the skis to grip better and subsequently allows the racers to make the descent with greater confidence.
In the men's category, training was led by the Norwegian Adrian Sejersted, with a time of 1:28.53, while in the women’s category, the fastest skier was the Austrian Nina Ortlieb with 1:32.38.
5 days, 9 races
This Tuesday’s training sessions will be followed by the five days of competition in the World Cup Finals Andorra 2023. In total there will be four disciplines in the men’s category, four more in the women’s category and one in the mixed category. On Wednesday, the showpiece speed event will be staged, the Downhill. On Thursday, it will be the turn of the Super-G and the Mixed Team Parallel will be contested on Friday, the last of these tests taking place on the Àliga course. At the weekend, the competition location will move to Soldeu, where the Avet course will host the technical competitions: the Slalom and the Giant Slalom.
Agenda for Wednesday, 15th March
- Men’s DH (10:00h, Àliga course, El Tarter)
- Women’s DH (11:30h, Àliga course, El Tarter)
- Après-ski at L’Abarset with Simply J (16:00h to 22:00h, El Tarter)