DEC 22, 2020
As expected the first two World Cup competitions of the skimountaineering season took place under difficult conditions influenced by the extensive COVID prevention regulations. In Ponte di Legno in northern Italy the Atomic athletes were performing well in a sprint and in a vertical race.
Patrick Tritscher as the Sports Marketing Manager is the pivot of competition skimountaineering activities at Atomic. He is all satisfied with the start into the season: “Everybody was happy to kick off the new racing season. But the initial situation was never as uncertain as in this Corona-year. National test competitions gave an indication, but how was the shape of the other leading athletes in the team? Moreover some of our team members had setbacks with injuries in their preparations. But after the two intense competitions in perfect conditions many of them can draw a positive conclusion, which obviously makes me happy too.”
At the Sprint race on the first event day the Austrian Daniel Zugg delivered a 9th place, which was a perfect comeback after a long injury break. Swiss athlete Iwan Arnold placed 14th. Tritscher comments Zugg’s and Arnold’s performance: “Daniel seamlessly hooked up to his best level after his personally very rough year. I am sure there is more to come during the season. Iwan had to deal with technical problems but his shape was there for much more. He will go for top results in the new year.“
On the second day in the Vertical race the Atomic athletes performed even better. The highlight was set by Italian Davide Magnini who rushed onto the podium with a 3rd place also in his very first race after an injury. Two more top15 ranks were collected by Austrian team member Daniel Ganahl on 13th and Samuel Equy from France ranked 14th. Tritscher analyses the races of Magnini and Equy: „Only four weeks after breaking his collarbone this was an amazing performance of Davide. And he did this fast comeback right in his backyard near his hometown. Samuel’s performance was also very impressive, he still suffers a training deficit after an injury with his ankle. Both of them had something special on their feet, coming straight out of our R&D department.”
The 23 years old Italian Davide Magnini is this season starting for the first time in the senior category. His personal comment to his 3rd rank at the Vertical race: „During the last check of the course I felt very good despite the difficult circumstances. I was very confident also because the steep track should be in my favour. After the gun I was leading the field for more than half of the race. Then my legs started to feel the big effort and I had to give everything for the last spot on the podium. I am absolute happy with this result. “
After an paragliding accident in January and an ankle injury in August, Daniel Zugg was limited all summer in his training. Intense sessions were missing completely. He commented to his performance at the sprint race: „The qualification already went well, my time was good. Quarter finals was very hard, I fought to the maximum on every inch of the track. I was rewarded with moving up to the semi finals, which unfortunately was the end. My ranking in my last World Cup race in season 19/20 was the 8th spot, now I hooked up with rank 9 after my injury odyssey. This was what I dreamed of but never thought it would come true. I am back in the Top10!“
Spanish athlete Albert Perez was ranked 2nd in the youth category U20 in the vertical race and called first time in his career to step onto a World Cup winners’ podium.
Backland Skimountaineers now enter an international break in competitions. Next stage in the World Cup is taking place in Verbier, Switzerland, during the last weekend in January 2021. Meanwhile, the athletes will compete in national competitions and will optimize the shape for the key phase of the season.