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Obereggen European Cup turns 40

Seguite lo Slalom di Obereggen su RaiSport, martedì 19 dicembre, a partire dalle ore 21:40

The European Cup stage with the longest tradition turns 40

On Tuesday 19 December, the prestigious slalom will take place on the Maierl slope in Obereggen. The title holder, winner 2022, is Frenchman Steven Amiez. Steven is the son of Sébastien Amiez, who won the slalom World Cup in the 1995/1996 season, as well as silver medals at the 1997 World Cup in Sestriere and the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. In its 40-year history, countless famous names have set foot on the podium in Obereggen.

The first European Cup race in Obereggen was a giant slalom. In 1983, the German Egon Hirt won ahead of Alex Giorgi from Val Gardena. Over the decades, Giant Slalom (1983), Slalom (from 1984), Super-G (1985-2000) and Combined (1984-1989) were held.

Obereggen has earned a reputation for being professional and reliable. The status Obereggen enjoys within the Circo Bianco, even though it is 'only' a European Cup, can be seen in the frequent live and deferred television broadcasts: quite unusual for a European Cup race.

In 2002, Obereggen experienced an absolute first as far as the European Cup and World Cup are concerned, namely a direct elimination night slalom. Another year that went down in history was 1995, when Sweden's Patrick Jaerbyn managed the feat of winning two super-Gs in the space of two hours.

in the picture: Steven Amiez (FRA), winner European Cup Obereggen 2022

Obereggen and the Stars

Countless World Cup winners, world champions and Olympic champions have stood on the podium in Obereggen in its 40-year history. Above all, the Austrian Marcel Hirscher, the most successful skier of all time, having won a total of eight World Cups, seven World Championship titles and two Olympic gold medals: in 2007 in Obereggen, 18-year-old Hirscher finished third.

Athletes such as Clement Noel, Andre Myhrer, Giuliano Razzoli, Reinfried Herbst, Manfred Pranger, Alberto Tomba, Benjamin Raich, Stephan Eberharter, Kristian Ghedina, Luc Alphand, Tomas Fogdoe, Rudi Nierlich, Armin Bittner and Peter Müller have also stood on the podium in Obereggen.

Countless world slalom stars pass through Obereggen. Six of the ten best slalom racers in the world last winter made it onto the podium in Obereggen: Alexander Steen Olsen (2021), Loic Meillard (2016) and Manuel Feller (2012) won; Ramon Zenhaeusern (2015) and Daniel Yule (2013) were second; Clement Noel (2017) came third. Only the reigning World Champion and Slalom World Cup winner Henrik Kristoffersen finished among the comprimarios in Obereggen: 11th in 2012 when he was a talented hopeful.

in the picture: Alberto Tomba (ITA), European Cup Obereggen 1986

The Slalom 2023

The slalom, with which Obereggen celebrates the first 40 years of the European Cup, will take place on Tuesday 19 December. The race is part of a busy programme in the region with three World Cup and two European Cup races in the space of just five days. In the World Cup before the slalom in Obereggen, two slaloms are scheduled: in Gurgl on 18 November and in Val d'Isere on 10 December. But above all, it traditionally constitutes the prologue to the World Cup slalom par excellence: the slalom scheduled in Madonna di Campiglio on 22 December. It is no coincidence that several of the skiers ranked among the top ten in Obereggen punctually end up among the top ten in Campiglio.

The Maierl slope, a challenge. One more reason to come to Obereggen is the Maierl slope, which replaced the Oberholz slope in 2016. With a maximum gradient of 55 per cent, it is a challenge even for the best slalomers in the world.

in the picture: Giuliano Razzoli (ITA) Olympic champion at Vancouver 2010  and European Cup Obereggen 2009

winter ski race | © Ph. Matteo Groppo


Karl and Peter Pichler

Karl and Peter Pichler, Bruno Fusmini. The Obereggen European Cup remembers the two brothers Karl and Peter Pichler. They both lived for skiing and both lost their lives tragically when they were shooting for their sport. Karl died in a car accident in 1982 in New Zealand, where he was with the Italian national Alpine skiing team as a coach. Peter died under an avalanche at Passo Oclini in 1977.

The Obereggen European Cup is also linked to another name: Bruno Fusmini was co-founder, race director from 1983 to 1997 and president from 1993 to 1997.

in the picture: Karl and Peter Pichler

© Ph. Helmuth Rier
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