He says that it takes a combination of, "A good base, good skis and some luck," to get on the podium in Skier X. "You need to be fast, too, especially in the gliding sections," he adds.
Andreas says his skiercross strength is working the inside of the course. "If I ski really close to somebody, I can give it my maximum," he says. "I'm also a good glider."
Steffen is a veteran of skiercross; he was introduced to the sport in 2001 and started competing at a high level shortly thereafter. "I like ski fighting man-to-man, I like the action and I also like the jumps," he says.
He ranks his WX bronze as one of his top all-time race highlights. It's closely followed by his World Cup win last year in Davos, SUI. He keeps his medal on the wall at home, where he sees it every day.
"I knew that if I had good skis that it could be a good day for me," he says. "It was a really special race with the snow; it was changing every day and every run. It was never the same. I knew I had to be flexible." Overall, Steffen liked the course. "I like the jumps, especially the one last year at the end -- the big ones," he says. "There was some nice air time." But he had his work cut out for him, too. He's not a fan of the WX starting gate geometry, which is set a bit farther back than what's he's used to in World Cup racing. It did him no favors in the final, either, because he was last off the line. His standing quickly improved.
He mentally checked off each competitor as he passed them, moving into the third spot. "At the end, I was pretty happy," he says.
Steffen finished out his year on the World Cup circuit in Europe. Although he had the WC win in March, his year ended with the worst FIS skiercross ranking in his career: 16th. (His best was fourth in 2005.) His first race of the 2009-10 season ended with a 34th place.
He hopes to make the Swiss Olympic team for ski cross, and to have another good showing at Winter X. "I would like to be in the final again," he says.