Start des Ski Cross-Rennens in Arosa

Snow, ski jumps and steep-walled bends

A blogger ventures the ski cross route in Arosa

Sliding down a steep-walled bend like a pro? Audi Blog author Natascha Bauer found out what this feels like for an amateur and what the experience at the Cross Alps Tour really feels like. Because blogger Claudia Beitsch dared to make this venture.

Bloggerin Claudia Beitsch im Starthaus des Ski Cross-Rennens in Arosa
In the start house, an uneasy sensation starts to grip Claudia Beitsch: "From the top it looks much steeper than from below! I have deepest respect for the skiers!"

It’s 1:30 pm. After more than four hours on the road, I have finally arrived in Arosa. The second race of the Cross Alps Tour of the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup will take place here in the evening. This makes four consecutive competitions, with one male and one female overall winner at the end.

The ride over ice and snow was strenuous. I am glad that I could travel with a quattro. I’m looking forward to spending the day with Claudia Beitsch. She is a passionate ski tour guide and documents all her adventures in the mountains on Instagram and on her blog. Today, she has the opportunity to experience ski cross up close. “Up until today, I’ve only known ski cross from TV. I’m stoked to watch the race today and to be allowed to conquer the track myself!”, the Brandenburg native rejoices.

While the qualification is taking place on the racetrack, a dense snowdrift takes over the finish area. Claudia gets a first overview of the finish area up close. In the qualification, the athletes will only be racing against time individually, while at a later stage they will race against each other in groups of four. I trudge behind the blogger through the deep snow, who glances at the track from below with a big portion of courage. In no less than a few minutes, she will be sliding down from there herself.

Adrenaline on the ski cross track

After the qualification, the athletes take a break and I drive up to the start area with Claudia. From there, a few steps lead to the start house. Here she realizes for the first time, what it means to ski cross. “From the top it looks much steeper than from below! I have deepest respect for the skiers!” There are four barriers next to each other from which the skiers will be catapulted, sliding straight down first and then back up over the ski jump.

Claudia musters enough courage to finally enter the racetrack next to the high ski jumps. She straps on her skis and slowly taps her way forward. And then she dares to climb the first hill, slowly progressing her way forward in her skis until she finds herself in front of the next ski jump. She skips this one. Even if she had dared to tackle it, skiing at full speed is not allowed because of the slope preparation. Then the adrenaline really kicks in, as she stands in front of the first real banked curve. Not only is the slope nearly vertical – but another small ski jump is built in the middle of this curve. Towards the finish, the track is a bit more easy-going. Claudia pushes forward again, clearly enjoying the ride. Shortly before the finish, she exits the track from the side. “After all, I want the real ski cross racers to receive all the glory and applause,” she says with a wink.

Claudia Beitsch am Pistenrand des Ski Cross-Rennens in Arosa

Having respect for the professionell athlete's performance: Claudia Beitsch prefers to ride along the slope's side and watches the steep ski run from a safe distance.

Entertainment at the Public Heat Selection

It has already become dark outside – the snow is still falling in thick flakes. I go to the stage with Claudia, where the Public Heat Selection is taking place. The qualifications’ four best women and the four best men may elect their own opponents. This is a special feature of ski cross and only takes place in the Cross Alps Tour, a special ranking within the World Cup.

From the track to the audience: the race

After a short warm-up break, Claudia makes her way back into the snowstorm. After all, the race is about to begin shortly.

Once at the top, she finds a place very close to the ski jumps to take pictures of the ski cross professionals, which she hadn’t dared to conquer earlier. But after the first impressive jumps, the jury decides there is too much snow on the track and that the race has to be stopped. There will still be a prize-giving ceremony however, in which the best racers of the qualifications are honored.

It has been great, wintry day with a lot of excitement, which left a big impression on Claudia: “Being here is really something different than watching ski cross on TV. Now that I have seen for myself, on which tracks the athletes race down and what they really look like, I must say that my respect has increased again by 1000 percent! A great sport! I’m really curious how the World Cup will continue. And keep your fingers crossed for the brave athletes, especially for the Olympics!”

Siegerehrung Ski Cross Qualifikation Podest
Award ceremony for the best ski cross racers (from left to right);: Drury Kevin (CAN), Zacher Heidi (GER), Andersson Viktor (SWE), Naeslund Sandra (SWE), Phelan Brittany (CAN), Oehling Norbert Victor (SWE).
Audi renews partnership with FIS Ski World Cup until 2022
Audi MediaCenter

Audi renews partnership with FIS Ski World Cup

Together into the next decade: Audi has extended the agreement as name-giver to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup up to and including 2022. The brand thus emphasizes its position as an important partner of international winter sports. The 16th joint season will open in Sölden (Austria) on October 28/29.

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