JASNÁ (21 January 2021) - In six weeks, the largest Slovak winter resort Jasná will host the world's women's elite in alpine skiing once again. During the first weekend of March, the slalom and giant slalom World Cup races are planned there. The biggest stars of the prestigious series, led by its leader Petra Vlhová, should not be missing at the start.
Preparation of tracks for the World Cup in Jasná
This week, the organisers of the long-awaited event started with tracks modifications. "In the near future, we will make the rough modification of the track. We will process the mass of snow we have made into the final form. The next steps will also depend on the weather. We will have the preparation and then the final form of the course for the race," says the representative of the World Cup race committee Michal Mrázik. Together with his colleagues, he believes that nature will also help them prepare the track. "Given that the world has been hit by a pandemic and the ski resorts are closed, we need to get the layers of snow connected. If a short period of rain came, it would help us to create a more compact layer, which would be great for further work with the hill," Mrázik continues. Rain would help the organisers, but they would have to work with fresh snow.
"If natural snow falls, it is thrown off the race course because the race is only run on a prepared layer of snow. The snow is compacted to achieve the required density. The aim is that the first and last racer at the start has the same conditions on the course," Mrázik explains. The final form of the track could be ready at the end of February. "In time, the last week of February will look like the event itself. One week before the race, no one will go on the track and it will be ready for the World Cup," adds Mrázik.
The organisers do their best - they shape the best hill for the racers
Jasná hosted the women's World Cup elite five years ago. The organisers have prepared innovations on the track with the aim of making the race more attractive and in a permitted way to help the home favourite Petra Vlhová. "The start does not change, it remains on Lukova. Two hundred meters after the start, the first terrain wave follows, which should make the track more attractive. The second wave is between the substitute start and the slalom start. Both are profiled so that they are not in the contour, but are placed obliquely. We tried to make the slalom and giant slalom tracks as long as possible. That should suit Petra Vlhová as well. We also consulted the length with her coach Livio Magoni," says Maroš Kupčo, the commander of the World Cup tracks.
The organisers do their best to ensure that the competitors have the best possible conditions. This also applies to the quality of the training track. "We want to offer the competitors the same conditions at trainings and races. We will also make the prepared snow on the training track. It is a common practice and standard in other venues of the World Championships," Kupčo continues. The current situation in connection with the pandemic, which also results in closed ski resorts, does not help the organising committee in Jasná. "If the slope was under load, it would be milled regularly and when eight or ten thousand skiers would pass it every day, it would basically prepare itself. People would compact it themselves. It is not ideal for us that there is nobody skiing on it. However, we do not complain, we have to deal with it and create the best possible conditions for the race itself," adds Kupčo.