Markus Gutenbrunner, the new sports director for ski cross in the ÖSV, gathered the red-white-red team this week at the 2027 World Cup venue in the Montafon for a first joint training course.
"The preparation for the upcoming season officially began with this course. I had numerous discussions in the Montafon to get to know the athletes even better. I was very pleased that the troops showed a lot of commitment and a great team spirit in the various activities showed," stressed Markus Gutenbrunner . Two units in the Montafon were symbolic of the fact that the ÖSV ski crossers want to aim high next winter. In the Waldseilpark-Golm, all the "obstacles" were mastered with flying colors, as were the demanding routes on the via ferratas on the Kälbersee.
With Daniel Traxler and Sandro Siebenhofer, there were also two athletes in Vorarlberg who are working on a comeback after injuries. The Upper Austrian Traxler missed the entire 2021/22 Olympic season due to a slipped disc, for the Styrian Siebenhofer last winter came to an early end after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture at the end of December.
"I'm fit again, my back is also fine," reported Traxler, who is already looking forward to comparing himself with his teammates at the snow training sessions that are planned on European glaciers from the second half of August. "I'll see where I stand there. My goal is, of course, to return to the World Cup after good preparation with strong performances," says Daniel Traxler , who really liked the course in Montafon: "We really got along in the forest rope park let off steam, and the via ferratas were very demanding. It was cool that we did something like this again - and that in the wonderful ambience of the Montafon."
Sandro Siebenhofer still needs a little patience, the start of the World Cup on November 5, 2022 in Les Deux Alpes (FRA) is likely to come too early for the 25-year-old. "I'm fully on schedule on the way back, but I won't rush into anything. I certainly won't make the mistake of racing again too early after a cruciate ligament injury. The priority now is to be well prepared and fully fit for the season to go," Siebenhofer clarified.
Tristan Takats from Lower Austria , the climber from the past World Cup winter, has got through the summer without any problems . "In the past few years, I've always had to struggle with minor ailments in preparation - first it was an injury, then another illness. Luckily I was spared this year. My goal for the coming season is clear: I want to get my first podium places in the World Cup. For that it will be necessary to be more consistent at the starts," Takats knows where to start.
For the women, the reigning Junior World Champion Sonja Gigler was on board for the first time at a course run by the World Cup team. Last March, the woman from Vorarlberg finished in a strong sixth place at her World Cup premiere on the Styrian Reiteralm. "My first ski cross season was really good. Now, as a next step, I want to find my way around in the World Cup. With Andrea (Limbacher, note) and Katrin (Ofner, note), I have two experienced teammates who I love with their big Experience can give valuable tips," said Gigler, who, as a Vorarlberg native, is particularly concerned about the 2027 home World Cup in the Montafon. "This is a long-term project that I will consistently work towards."
The reigning Junior World Champion Sonja Gigler is looking forward to her first World Cup season with great anticipation. Andrea Limbacher has a lot of confidence in her young teammate: "Sonja already sold extremely well last season and is a great enrichment for the team. I'm sure that we will have a lot of fun with her", is the world champion of the 2015, who said that "the days with the team in the Montafon were a lot of fun".