Nicol Delago: "the Gardenissima is always a nice challenge"
NICOL DELAGO, an active Alpine Skiing World Cup athlete, for which she boasts three second places, in addition to a first and second place already won at Gardenissima.
What are the motivations for a world-class athlete to take part in a unique and spectacular race, such as Gardenissima, but also a particularly demanding one, at the end of a competitive season?
It is always a great challenge, but also stimulating to put oneself to the test and try to exceed one's limits. It is a long, tiring race, but at the same time full of fascination, as well as offering a breath-taking panorama.
What kind of preparation do you reserve for tackling a descent that can last more than three and a half minutes?
For a targeted preparation such as Gardenissima deserves, unfortunately, due to a very busy World Cup calendar, there is no time left. One mostly treasures the training done during the previous 10 months, from the dry training during the warm months to all the days spent on the snow, trying not to get too fatigued the week of the race.
What is the basis for the choice of materials for the Gardenissima?
Honestly, the choice is never easy, as the course hides pitfalls that require the utmost care in the choice of material. In fact, it is no coincidence that in my previous participations, sometimes I opted for giant skis and sometimes I preferred super-G skis. The race tends to be won on the flat, so it is often more useful to have a slightly longer ski for speed. It also depends on the terrain and the type of snow, which, of course, at the end of the season can vary greatly from one edition to the next. In any case, for the first part a Giant Slalom ski is better suited, while for the second part a Super-G ski is undoubtedly better.
What is special about the Gardenissima and what makes it unique?
Certainly, the length that one is not used to, which puts a particular strain on all parts of the body, but the difference can be found at the start when one is stunned by the amazing panorama. On the technical side, the variety of the route you encounter on the descent. First a technical part, then a super giant slalom.
A dedication for the 25th Gardenissima?
I reserve enormous praise for the hundreds of volunteers who allow 700 enthusiasts, as well as athletes, from many countries around the globe, to challenge themselves, going to the limit and sometimes even beyond, at the end of the season on a special course surrounded by a natural environment of rare beauty.