After the ORV Tobognanists won all eight races in the season opener at Innsbruck-Igls with a strong Tyrolean participation, the cards are being shuffled in North America. On Friday and Saturday, tobogganing will take place for World Cup points in Whistler, Canada, for the first time in three years.
The start was great, but “the current one is called Whistler, we have to focus on that,” said ORV head coach Christian Eigentler.
Little Experience with the Train in Whistler
Most of the Austrian troops at Whistler still lacked experience on the track, so the training run should provide important insights. “We have to adapt our content to the track and embrace the technology,” Egentler insisted. For Juri Gat and Ricardo Shoaf, who celebrated their first World Cup victories last week, the track in Whistler is completely new territory. This also applies to overall World Cup leaders Selina Eagle and Lara Kip, who initially won both races in the women’s doubles.
The more experienced Madeleine Eagle has so far been denied a Top 10 result at Whistler. With plenty of confidence after two wins in the last week, things should get better for the Olympic fourth-place finisher this time around. Sprint world champion Nico Gleischer’s starting position is pretty similar. The Stubai native, who dominated the men’s World Cup opener with two wins, has been tied 16th and 30th in Whistler so far.
Expect the giants ala Kindle
Yannick Müller and Armin Frauscher, who traveled to Canada as the overall World Cup leaders after a third place and victory in the sprint, made a World Cup debut in Whistler. It did not find success with a 15th place.
Due to the lack of experience of many ORV tobogganists, the challenge is to experienced ones. First up is the Wolfgang Kindel, which has been proven in North America to feel very comfortable on the track. The Olympic silver medalist won in Whistler in December 2018. For doubles, Thomas Stu and Lorenz Koller have so far had two fourth-place finishes on the track, Olympic champion David Gleisercher’s fifth-best ORV singles three years earlier.
Teams have high expectations
Expectations are high after the most successful weekend in the history of Austrian tobogganing, with targets for the competitions already clearly defined. “Of course we want to build on the performances we showed recently and hope that we can fight for podiums in as many disciplines as possible,” stressed head coach Eigentler.
In addition to the discipline races, a team relay world cup will also be held in Whistler. The team competition will take place on Saturday after the women’s and men’s doubles decisions. The single seater race will be held on Friday.
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