The Valais skier has changed equipment to reach a level. At 28, the Bagnard hopes to fight in the world top 7 at the end of the season. First element of answer this Sunday in Sölden (from 10 am).
Last year in Sölden, Justin Murisier returned to the World Cup. A “comeback” after a third white season, again because of that damn knee. A top 10 and a top 15 as a giant were two breaths of fresh air in a season that was not necessarily easy for the skier from Bruson, who is starting his tenth exercise mathematically.
“My knee is always a recurring theme, for example in terms of regeneration after training,” says the man who has twice finished fourth in the World Cup. Yes, the pain is still sometimes present. ”
At 28 years old, the Valaisan decided this spring to change ski brand (dropping Nordica for Head) in order to take a step forward. “It was necessary because I am getting old, I don’t have much time to waste. I made the choice of safety by joining a brand that has proven itself and on which a Pinturault or a Ligety have already developed the equipment. These injuries did not allow me to develop skiing properly when I was under contract with these smaller brands. There, I can concentrate only on my technique. ”
One pair in twenty
Among the twenty pairs of giants received, the Bagnard opted for a reference ski, the most versatile possible. These equipment tests are normally done at the end of April, which was not possible this year due to the containment. And given that the training camps in the southern hemisphere were canceled, the tests in Saas-Fee or Zermatt were suddenly not carried out in optimal conditions.
“Glacier snow does not resemble that of cold and aggressive winter conditions,” explains the Valaisan. We took a few landmarks on the Valais glaciers and these were confirmed on that of Diavolezza (Graubünden), where the track is injected and looks more like World Cup conditions. I was reassured because it allowed me to choose the equipment for Sölden. ”
Not far from Meillard and Odermatt
Changing skis is a long process. “I’m still getting to grips with these skis, there are still a lot of adjustments to be made. I get closer to my training colleagues, even if Loïc (Meillard) and Marco (Odermatt) remain one level above. ”
At Head, number one brand among men last season, the Valaisan is no longer the leader. “I expected to come out and be number five, a bit of the ‘comes next’. But they trusted me, put an excellent serviceman at my disposal. I tell myself that maybe I should have left earlier. ”
Realistically, the Valaisan does not necessarily expect to win this Sunday on the Rettenbach glacier, with his bib (the 26) high. “But the objective would be to fight again with the world top 7 at the end of the season”, he confides. This seventh rank of the giant hierarchy is precisely the one that Murisier occupied at the end of the 2018 season. Before tearing the cruciate ligament in the right knee in New Zealand during summer preparation. His new ski is supposed to allow him to regain his status.