Aleksander Aamodt Kilde redeems the Dolomites Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy win
For several years, the best skiers worldwide have enjoyed an additional prize at the Saslong Classic in Val Gardena/Gröden. Whoever earns the most World Cup points in the super-G and downhill races will be awarded a cash prize of 5,000 euros, a wooden bust, a short vacation in Val Gardena/Gröden, and - as was introduced last year - a guided mountain tour to the Sassolungo mountain. After 2017, 2018 (still known as the Südtirol Ski Trophy at that time), and 2020, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde secured the coveted trophy last year with his victory in the classic downhill race and a fifth place in the sprint downhill. He travelled to Val Gardena/Gröden this week with his parents, brother, and family for the festive award ceremony.
"It's no longer a secret that I feel at home in Val Gardena/Gröden, not just in the winter. This region is an absolute dream in the summer as well. The green meadows, the beautiful mountains ... every time I'm welcomed here with open arms. It's fantastic. Will I climb the Sassolungo? Well, let's see, it would somehow intrigue me," said the winner of 21 World Cup races - five of them celebrated by Kilde on the legendary Saslong - during the lively award ceremony.
The pre-season is in full swing
The 30-year-old, who won the overall World Cup in the 2019/20 season, also provided insight into the current season preparation. "As you age, you must do a little more yearly to maintain the same power. I used my time here in Val Gardena/Gröden for off-season training. At the end of August, we'll travel to Chile with the team for about a month to train on snow. Recently, I was on the Stelvio Pass and completed some initial sessions there. I'm looking forward to the start in Sölden and, of course, can't wait to return to Val Gardena/Gröden in December,' said Kilde.
The celebration was attended by current World Cup athletes in Alpine skiing from Val Gardena/Gröden, including Alex Vinatzer and the Delago sisters, Nicol and Nadia. Greetings were delivered by St. Christina's mayor, Christoph Senoner, Christoph Vinatzer as a representative of Dolomites Val Gardena, and Rainer Senoner in his role as the President of the Saslong Classic Club. Finally, Regional Councillor Daniel Alfreider addressed the numerous guests. Among them were the Vice President of the Italian Winter Sports Federation FISI, Stefano Longo, and other partners who actively supported Val Gardena's candidacy for the 2029 Alpine Ski World Championships.
However, in the short term, all eyes in Val Gardena/Gröden are focused on the 56th Saslong Classic. This event will take place on Friday, 15 December, with a super-G, and Saturday, 16 December, with the traditional downhill race. And one can already be curious about who will capture that Dolomites Val Gardena South Tyrol Ski Trophy edition..."