Olympic silver medallist Marco Schwarz headlined the names on the mountain ©Ski Austria

A month before the FIS (International Ski Federation) Alpine Ski World Cup opener for the 2020-2021 season, Austrian skiers were able to practise their craft on the Pitztal Glacier course in Sölden.

One of those who took to the slopes was Marco Schwarz who was happy with how the conditions played out during training.

"That was a tremendous training session today," said Schwarz.

"Perfect conditions and the runs of over a minute were very intense, but extremely important."

The Austrian Ski Association sports director Andreas Puelacher stated his delight for how the session went, thanking the resort owners for facilitating them.

Another skier out practising was Stefan Brennsteiner, who said that although training was not quite yet perfected, he was confident of being ready to race.

"It is perfect that we can train on the Pitztal Glacier at this time of the year," Brennsteiner said.

"It is not easy to find good conditions at the moment.

"The training here is very important for us because the opening race in Sölden is one of the toughest races of the whole season - we can prepare very well here."

Meanwhile, Roland Leitinger, who won a silver medal in the giant slalom at the 2017 World Championships, was glad to try out the challenging course.

Roland Leitinger was pleased with his efforts at altitude ©Ski Austria
Roland Leitinger was pleased with his efforts at altitude ©Ski Austria

"That was a very high-quality training session," said Leitinger.

"For the first time we were in really steep terrain.

"Training runs of over a minute are very intense at this altitude - that feels good."

The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup is scheduled to open with two legs in Austria - the first for the giant slalom, before moving to Lech/Zürs for the parallel giant slalom.

Finland's Levi is expected to host the slalom in November, before a break of three weeks in the competition due to the cancellation of the North American leg due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final event of the 2020-2021 World Cup calendar is scheduled from March 17 to 21 in Lenzerheide in Switzerland.

Due to the pandemic, no spectators will be allowed at the opening stage in Sölden.