“In one discipline I’m definitely not one of them, in the other I’m one of the bigger favorites. It’s not like you drive up and pick up a medal, but we’ll do everything we can, ”Feller clarified. His main discipline is the slalom, in Flachau he celebrated his first World Cup victory in January. Physically, Feller feels good after intensive training blocks at the Weißensee. “The last few weeks have been very productive, we have completed everything we had planned.”
The technician followed the World Cup events at home in front of the television – and saw a lot of ÖSV gold. “It’s extremely cool for the whole nation and the team. It was unbelievably great to watch at home, I was really happy for the boys and also for Kathi (Liensberger; note), “said Feller. “In general, however, I am still there for myself so that I can call up my performance.” The feeling goes in the direction: “Okay, I want to show that too!”
ÖSV men in RTL outsiders
Since Marcel Hirscher’s resignation, there has been no podium for the ÖSV men’s team in the giant slalom. The local athletes are also outsiders at the World Cup on Friday.
Feller’s favorite relationships beckon
The fact that no spectators are admitted to the World Championships is painful. “When I drove up I already said that it is not far from Austria, just imagine what a ski festival it would have been,” said Feller. “Nevertheless we have a great backdrop. I think the slopes are in top condition. Of course the weather has gotten a bit warmer, but generally there is a very good stick. I am really happy that we are having a major event. “
The high temperatures could soften the slope surface just enough that “Feller conditions” prevail. “If on top of that it gets slightly smeary with the sun, then it is a little more forgiving. I’ve always delivered very good races, ”he explained. “It’s not quite like that in giant slalom because the swing isn’t that short, but I don’t like that either. The last days of training in the giant slalom were in that direction and it worked very well. “
ÖSV starters in RTL only outsiders
A medal for one of the four Austrian starters in the World Cup giant slalom would be a surprise. But Feller, Stefan Brennsteiner, Roland Leitinger and combined world champion Marco Schwarz want to do their best. The last race so far ended more than a month ago, on January 9th, in Adelboden with a victory for Alexis Pinturault. The Frenchman would like to complete his set of medals.
Pinturault is the favorite in the race. The Salzburg resident grabbed the victories in the most recent three World Cup giant slalom runs and is 40 points ahead of Swiss Marco Odermatt in the discipline, while Croatian Filip Zubcic is third. Both Pinturault, who won Combi Silver and Super G Bronze, as well as Zubcic, who was silvered in the parallel singles, already have their medal (s) from Cortina in their pockets.
The gold medal goes to Pinturault, who was already the favorite in the station wagon, but is still out. For the Salzburger Brennsteiner, “Alexis” is the first to be named gold contender, but he also has Zubcic on the bill. “If it gets a little greasy, it has been there every time for the last year or two,” he explained. The Swiss Loic Meillard and the Slovenian Zan Kranjec also have chances. Defending champion Henrik Kristoffersen from Norway, however, has lost his RTL form from the previous year.
Eighth places were highlights this season
Brennsteiner himself was able to look forward to a victory and a second place in the European Cup in Berchtesgaden, his best World Cup result was eighth in Alta Badia shortly before Christmas. He missed qualifying for the second round three times in six races. “I’m not even one of the outsiders,” said the 29-year-old from Pinzgau.
Schwarz sees himself very well in the outsider role. “The giant slalom results didn’t speak for me during the season. But of course I want to do my best. The focus is on the slalom, ”said the Carinthian who, apart from the Sölden opener, was never worse than 22nd in the RTL World Cup, but never better than twelfth like the last time in Adelboden. “I want to start the race like I went into the station wagon on Monday. Skiing without pressure. “
Anticipation at Leitinger
Leitinger took eighth place on the Chuenisbärgli. He was satisfied with his starting number within the top 15. “I have a very good starting position there,” said the Salzburg native. Since Adelboden he has “struggled a bit at times. But I hope that it works well on Friday. “
The area looks “huge”. “It goes straight away quite steeply, but after 15 goals it is steep but not immediately flat,” said Leitinger. The 2017 vice world champion in St. Moritz celebrated victory at the Italian RTL championships in Cortina two years ago. “But it’s only the last 15 goals that we drive on the same route.”