Kranjska Gora ski resort hosting 57th Golden Fox meet
Kranjska Gora, 15 January - The Slovenian ski resort of Kranjska Gora will host over the weekend two Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom events for women in what will be the 57th Golden Fox meet. The event usually takes place in Maribor but has been moved the second year running due to a lack of snow amid mild and wet weather.
The alternative venue, which holds the Vitranc Cup for men in March, will see Slovenia represented by Meta Hrovat, Tina Robnik, Ana Bucik, Neja Dvornik, Andreja Slokar and Ilka Štuhec, who is best-known for her successes in the downhill.
It will be the ninth time that Kranjska Gora will host the Golden Fox meet, and unlike Maribor, there is plenty of snow there, with the organisers rushing in recent days to prepare the piste for the two-day ski festival.
Among those who are happy the most with the relocation is Hrovat, who is a native of the nearby village of Podkoren. It was there where she won third place in the giant slalom in what was actually the last World Cup event in the previous, shortened season.
The two giant slalom events in Kranjska Gora will be the first World Cup events for women in a month, with Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, who currently leads the overall ranking, being one of the main favourites, along with Italy's Federica Brignone.
Brignone, the overall World Cup winner from last season, leads the giant slalom standings after three out of the scheduled eight events, followed by her compatriot Marta Bassino and Mikaela Shiffrin of the US, who won the most recent giant slalom event.
For Ilka Štuhec, who last appeared in the World Cup giant slalom in Maribor two years ago, making it to the final runs at both events would already be a huge success.
"The Golden Fox is my home race, even if it gets moved from Maribor to Kranjska Gora. This is why I want to participate," said the Maribor native, who will be going for her third downhill world champion title in a row in February.
This time, there will be no fans along the course and around the finish line due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Fans may participate, though, in creating a supportive atmosphere on a special website.
Also notable is that Shiffrin, who missed out last year's Golden Fox, is returning to Slovenia after winning the overall Golden Fox titles (giant slalom plus slalom) for three years in a row (2017-2019).