The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup 2010-2011 season continues with the Slalom opening at Levi (FIN) this coming weekend. Levi is ready to stage its 11th and 12th World Cup races since the first (Ladies') race was held on 28th February 2004.
Last year, the Slalom openers were won by Reinfried Herbst from Austria and Maria Riesch from Germany, who also became the first two-time World Cup winner at Levi.
According to Hans Pieren, FIS Race Director for the Men's technical events, the conditions at Levi are excellent. "It has been very cold at Levi with temperatures below -15C in the last several days and the course is in a great shape. The forecast for the weekend calls for a bit warmer weather relatively speaking, above -10C, and possibly even some snowfall".
After the Levi weekend, both the Ladies' and Men's tours will head to North America. The Ladies will first head to Aspen (USA) for a technical weekend while the Men will launch the speed season as is traditional in Lake Louise (CAN) with a Downhill and a Super-G.
Levi, located about 150 km north of the Polar Circle (Levi World Cup is the northmost Alpine World Cup), is one of the largest ski resorts in Finnish Lapland. Levi Fell village is actually a small holiday town, which offers a wide range of first-rate services to its guests.There are 44 slopes (longest slope 2500 m), 15 of which are lit, and 28 lifts including the only gondola lift in Finland. The Vertical drop is 325 m and the lift capacity is 27,600 skiers/hour.
More than 20,000 spectators are expected at the two races on the weekend, when the Ladies compete on Saturday November 13th and the Men on Sunday November 14th and the organizers have put great emphasis on involving local schools and youngsters to bring them to the events.
The Levi Black competition course vertical drop is 180 meters and the steepest part of the race course has the steepness of 52 %.
Levi is Father Christmas's official fell and ski centre. Since last year a new attraction for audience is a Christmas market. The market is organized by a local tourism project. Near ZeroPoint in the center of Levi about 20 small cottages with different colors have been built. They will be lit and decorated in the Christmas style. Local companies will be selling their products, with traditional Lapland and Finnish Christmas themes. German style Glühwein and warm cider as well tasting samples of the products are offered.