OSV, USA, FRA, SLO & DSV Announce Team Selections & Staff Changes

The changes and team selections for the upcoming season continue in the Alpine Skiing World Cup world.

The Austrian team makes small changes but has big goals

"Our goal is to be positioned in all disciplines so that we can also be successful there. When I look at the individual squad lists and the associated coaching teams, you can see that we have good prerequisites in all disciplines to be at the forefront in the coming season - and that's exactly what it's all about," says Mario Stecher, who has officially been in office as the new ÖSV Sports Director since 1 May

Under the leadership of Cornelia Huetter in the women's field and Manuel Feller in the men's, both fresh from their greatest career success so far by winning their first career globes, the Austrian team is ready to face the next season with a World Championship at home with Saalbach 2025.

This spring also marked a break with traditions, as Ski Austria's general management, led by sports director Herbert Mandl, chose to maintain the technical direction that had been initiated.

In anticipation of the 2024/25 World Cup season, Ski Austria announced its coaching staff for the eight teams, split equally between the men's and women's sectors, with only two significant changes.

Mike Pircher has stepped down as coach of the giant slalom team to join Lucas Braathen's private team project. He has been replaced by Wolfgang Auderer, who has just spent five years with Swiss-Ski.

The second change is in the women's field, as Karlheinz Pichler has accepted an offer from Germany, which opens the door to Christian Perner, who has been promoted from the European Cup.

The USA's technical makeover

The U.S. ski federation has initiated a half-revolution in its technical staff, signaling a new era for American skiing.

However, the two sector managers, Mark Tilston in the men's sphere and Paul Kristofic of the women's teams, remain head of both genders.

Notable changes include the appointment of Rudi Soulard as head tech coach for the women's team, replacing Magnus Andersson. Rudi, after having recently served as assistant coach in the technical disciplines team, is a coach with enormous experience as he was head coach of the French women's slalom team and even before that, the head coach of two champions such as Viktoria Rebensburg and Ted Ligety.

Team Shiffrin will bring in a new assistant coach this upcoming season with Janne Haarala, who most recently coached the Norwegian national team. He was the head women’s tech coach with the Norwegians for the past six years.

Fabien Munier is stepping in as the head men’s World Cup giant slalom coach. Munier joins the Stifel U.S. Ski Team from the French Ski Federation, where he has most notably worked with Olympic medalist, world champion, and previous overall FIS Crystal Globe winner Alexis Pinterault, as well as the French Europa Cup speed and World Cup tech teams.

Former French Ski Federation coach Claude Cretier also joins the men’s World Cup group. Cretier, an Olympic ski racer who finished fifth in the 2002 downhill, coached French greats such as Pinterault and Olympic medalist Victor Muffat-Jeandet.

On the men’s slalom side, Tristan Glasse-Davies joins the team as the head men’s slalom World Cup coach. Glasse-Davies most recently coached with GB Snowsports as the head men’s slalom coach for Dave Ryding as well as up-and-coming slalom skiers Billy Major and Laurie Taylor. Glasse-Davies has been key in Ryding’s slalom career, coaching him to one of the top slalom skiers in the world.

A full staff announcement will be released this fall, in tandem with the official Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team announcement.

The French team announced the selections

While the FFS announced all the groups for next season, the “Les Bleus” alpine skiing coaching staff has undergone several changes.

When he left for the United States to head up the US tech team, Fabien Munier had to be replaced in the men’s technical group. Frédéric Perrin, head of the French men's teams, decided to move into the group B with the promotion of Mathias Rolland. The Savoyard from Pralognan (who later moved to Courchevel) has already coached the women and the men. And to replace the former world junior slalom medallist (2011) in Group B, another Savoyard slalom racer has joined the federal staff: Steven Théolier, a former World Cup rookie (who ended his career in Dutch colours), cut his coaching teeth at the Tignes club and with the Savoie Committee, where he coached the men's group last season. He will be working with Sébastien Brenier (group leader) and Justin Bernard.

Clément Noël will now be working with Robin Schmidt as the new physical trainer (replacing Jérémy Coint).

Another coach from the Savoie Committee is also joining the federation. John Troche joins Cyril Vieux in the B speed group as coach and technician.

Ilka Stuhec's Evolution & Slovenia Selection

At 33 years old, Ilka Stuhec remains driven to compete at the highest echelons of her sport. Her ambitions are undiminished despite some setbacks like missing the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics at the peak of her career and experiencing a crisis of confidence and results at the 2022 Beijing Games.

Her recent performance at the World Cup finals showcased her potential, particularly in the downhill event in Saalbach. She sets her sights on the Olympic dream in Cortina in 2026.

After a year-long podium drought, she regained her form with a dominant display in the final downhill of the Soldeu finals. Now, Stuhec faces a significant change in her support team.Ales Gorza is set to take over team leadership, replacing her long-time mentor, mother Darja Crnko.

Ales Gorza, a former Giant and Super-g racer, brings experience from his tenure with the Slovenian men's national speed team.

This marks the second substantial technical change orchestrated by the federation for its top athletes. Previously, Andreja Slokar returned to a high level of competition after a comeback season, with support from Andrea Massi.

DSV Change on the Women’s Team

Karlheinz Pichler is the new speed discipline coach for downhill and super-G in the DSV women's team. The 54-year-old Tyrolean replaces Andreas Fürbeck.

Karlheinz "Charly" Pichler began his coaching career in the ÖSV in various roles, including as head coach of the women's speed team from 2011. In 2017, he moved to Liechtenstein as women's downhill coach, where he looked after Tina Weirather. From 2019, Pichler was responsible for the men in Sweden as Head Speed Coach before taking over the women's giant slalom group in the ÖSV in 2022.

Karlheinz Pichler: "I'm really looking forward to my new role in the German Ski Association. Together with my fellow coaches, we aim to build up a speed team around Kira Weidle and Emma Aicher. We also want to raise the standard in giant slalom and introduce young female athletes to the top."


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