Before the 2007/2008 World Cup Season began, the Head Racing Team had tremendous expectations, with both the HEAD men and women placing victories on the agenda. The HEAD racers used their superior product and professional knowledge to meet their pre-season demands.
Now, at the end of the season, with five out of the possible twelve Crystal Globes going to HEAD racers, the next chapter in the great book of HEAD has been written, and it is yet another unparalled story. With 13 World Cup victories, over 40 podium places between the men and women, and with the FIS standings mirroring these results, HEAD racers are in 1st place in three different categories, delivering truly a remarkable story for the HEAD team.
Winter 2007/2008 revealed one person who was capable of achieving the ultimate goal in the World Cup for professional speed skiing. Bode Miller’s explosive performance officially commenced in Bormio, Italy, on December 29th, when his first season victory was won. It did not stop there though, with other celebrated accomplishments like the Downhill title in Wengen or first place in Kitzbühel’s Hahnenkamm combination. Miller secured himself the Super Combination Crystal Globe, and also accomplished the greatest achievement for any World Cup speed skier, the Overall World Cup Crystal Globe.
The fastest man on skis this year was another HEAD athlete: Didier Cuche managed to win again the Crystal Globe in the Downhill, and almost won in the Super G as well, where he missed the globe only by one point. “Throughout the whole season I was consistent, the effort was huge, and I am therefore really pleased with the outcome”, described Cuche at the final in Bormio. Not forgotten are the huge series classics, where at the Lauberhorn Downhill we saw a HEAD double victory and again on the Streif at Kitzbühel. One day later Cuche shared the spotlight with Hermann Maier, and Marco Büchel in a Super G podium dominated by HEAD athletes.
The HEAD women of course were also able to exceed their goals, with much admiration and acclaim to HEAD athlete, Maria Riesch, who in this season won two Crystal Globes. The German star successfully concluded her World Cup season with a Super Combination Globe, as well as taking the Super G trophy home too. “For me, both globes are of the same great value, they are my first and I am incredibly pleased,” said the German. With a little more luck over the season, Riesch could have also had her hands on the Overall Globe, by being present in the top of all five disciplines. Next year, the 23 year old is sure to be the top favorite for the Big Crystal Globe.
Strong competition for Riesch came from HEAD newcomer, Elisabeth Görgl, who with her new equipment was able to accomplish two world cup victories and five podium places. Her victories were followed by two second place finishes in the Super G and two in the Giant Slalom overall standings. Next year, the promising Austrian will have another opportunity to advance to the next level of her World Cup career.
At the end stands a great team achievement: “Miller, Cuche, and Riesch - they are simply phenomenal skiers. They stand for the commitment of HEAD to the racing sport.” said HEAD CEO Johan Eliasch. “With the combination of these three athletes, we have a new era commencing, the total return on investment in the World Cup is not only sportive, but also commercial and more than profitable. The market presence of our top racers has increased the awareness of our products without question and will also increase the demand for our skis at the retailers.”
Rainer Salzgeber, Racing Director at HEAD sums it up: “This is a fantastic result for us, no question. Bode was in amazing form throughout the whole season. We have worked hard because of him, in line with the best material at our disposal, and hard work always pays for itself.”