Kranjska Gora resounded this evening with the cheers of the fans watching the public draw of the starting numbers of the top 16 women's giant slalom athletes of the FIS World Cup. In front of several hundred people, Frenchwoman Tessa Worley drew the first starting number, while the overall leader - American Mikaela Shiffrin - will take to the slopes with the number 2, followed by Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami, who will go down to the 45th Grand Slalom Cup of the 59th Golden Fox. Three local Foxes will also compete for the podium this time - Ana Bucik with the starting number 20, Tina Robnik with the number 38 and Neja Dvornik with the number 53.
Tomorrow's race will be particularly intense as Shiffrin is not only chasing to tie the record for the most women's World Cup wins, but she and Worley are currently tied for the most overall giant slalom wins (16), and a first place would also give her the record for the most giant slalom wins at the Golden Fox. Nevertheless, no American flags are expected at the finish slope, as the loudest cheers will be again this year from the Slovak fans, who came to Kranjska Gora in great numbers to support Petra Vlhova.
The Women's World Cup Manager Peter Gerdol is also expecting an interesting race, and at today's Team Managers' meeting he once again praised the efforts of the Maribor organising team "After a few warmer days and the competition in Zagreb, we are very much looking forward to the winter temperatures. This year's hosting is a bit special - even though the course was well taken care of by the Maribor organising team, the organisation of the competition was much more relaxed than otherwise when the Golden Fox in Kranjska Gora is postponed right before the race due to unfavourable conditions on the Pohorje slope."
The weather forecast remains favourable, with a cold and clear night expected, which will further consolidate the snow base. With an altitude of 1175 metres, the start will be slightly lower than last year and the difference in altitude between the start and finish arena is 320 metres. Also new is a unique LED start gate, which will offer a unique visual backdrop for the world's best female skiers, while showcasing selected Slovenian tourism icons to visitors at the venue and to spectators in more than 18 countries around the world. The project is the result of cooperation between the organising team and SPIRIT Slovenia, the umbrella partner of the 59th Golden Fox, whose aim is to jointly present Slovenia as a country of top athletes, as a highly innovative, technologically advanced and smart economic and tourist destination.