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Let's go to Val d'Isere

2023-12-09T17:19:40.226Z

Highlights: Two athletes from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district will be competing at the World Cup in Val d'Isere. Fabian Gratz competed in the European Cup in Zinal and finished second. Adrian Meisen recommended himself for the Slalom World Cup during training in Pfelders. Gratz and Meisen will both compete in the giant slalom on Sunday. The World Cup starts in Sölden on Saturday before moving to France on Saturday and Sunday.



Status: 09.12.2023, 18:00 PM

By: Patrick Hilmes

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Arrives with plenty of self-confidence: Before Val d'Isere, Fabian Gratz competed in the European Cup in Zinal and finished second. © PETER KORNATZ

Two athletes from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district will be competing at the World Cup in Val d'Isere: Fabian Gratz in the giant slalom and Adrian Meisen in the slalom.

Val d'Isere – One week in Sweden, one week in Finland, one week in Italy, then it's off to Switzerland for a short time before the next stop is France. Skiers live a life out of their sports bags in these times. Arrival, briefly unpack at the hotel, then train for a few days on the slopes of this world, departure. It's a constant cycle. This itinerary belongs to Fabian Gratz. When the Tagblatt reached the giant slalom specialist from TSV Altenau by phone, he was sitting in the car and was just outside Milan. "Yes, you're on the road a bit," he admits with a smile. His destination: Zinal in Switzerland. A European Cup is on the agenda. But even on the way there, he thinks above all of the next stop: Val d'Isere. The second Giant Slalom World Cup of the season will take place there this Saturday.

Gratz finishes a strong second at the European Cup in Zinal

Basically, it is the start for Gratz and Co., because in Sölden at the end of October only one round was possible due to the weather. Bitter for the Saulgruber, as he was in 22nd place after the first run. He himself was not so satisfied with his performance. "In hindsight, it wasn't what I had in mind." Gratz needed some time to find his way into the race, losing valuable time in the upper part of the track. Nevertheless, he sees the ride as positive, wanted to build on it in Zinal and wants to build on it in Val d'Isere in particular. It worked very well in Switzerland. Gratz snatched second place and thus further confidence for his next stop. And he needs it, because in his two previous appearances in the French Alps things didn't go smoothly, once he was eliminated in the first round, the other time he clearly missed the top 30. "I learned quite a lot," Gratz recalls. But in the meantime, the 26-year-old is more confident on the skis and can better transfer his power to the slats below him. A credit to his hard preparation. "It's taking time for all of this to solidify and run automatically, but I'm seeing progress."

Meisen surprised that he is already getting his chance

Surprisingly, Adrian Meisen recommended himself for the Slalom World Cup during training in Pfelders. © PETER KORNATZ

Apparently, Adrian Meisen also did that. He will also be at the start in Val d'Isere this weekend. Not in the giant race, of course, but in the slalom. It will take place on Sunday. And the joy about his nomination is particularly great, as the technical specialist from SC Garmisch has not been part of the DSV squad since this season. Accordingly, he emphasizes: "Huge thanks for this opportunity. I didn't expect it and it's not a matter of course that I'll be able to take part in the second World Cup."

Confirmation for that he is on the right track

But the 26-year-old was able to convince the national coaches. How? By training where the DSV squad also trained, in Pfelders (Italy). They were on the slopes together for three days. However, Meisen doesn't want to talk about how he fared against the previous World Cup starters around Linus Straßer and Co. He only says this much: "I must have done well if they are already saying: 'Let's take Adri with us'". Of course, these words do not pass his lips without a satisfied smile. Because his starting place for Val d'Isere is more than just an indication that he is alone, but on the right track. "It hasn't always been easy the past six months, a big change for me. But this is now a nice confirmation and shows that I have not been forgotten." At the same time, he also knows that this is only one of many other steps. Being fast in practice is a good prerequisite, but now he has to put it into practice in the race, preferably on Sunday. Because: "Who knows when I'll get the next chance."

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2023-12-09

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