The newly-built trackwinds its way for 1,814m across the northern slope of the Aibga Ridge, near the village of Krasnaya Polyana, and replicates the existing relief of the local area – a layout that impressed many of the World Cup competitors.
"In general, the track is great,” said Germany’s Andi Langenhan, after his victory in the men’s singles ahead of Russia’s Albert Demchenko, which saw him finish second in the overall standings. “You need to take a special approach to do well here."
Austrian Georg Fischler, European Champion in 2011, said: “Keeping the 2014 Olympic Games in mind, today’s race was especially important. I’m sure that we’ll see exciting races next year – with a close result.”
Andris Sics from Latvia, 2010 Olympic silver medalist, added:
The track is very good and has passed its test for the Olympic Games. Despite the rain the conditions were fair for all of us.”
Germany’s Olympic champion Tatjana Hüfner was also impressed by the Sochi venue, after winning the women’s singles race ahead of compatriots Natalie Geisenberger and Anke Wischnewski
"I like the track, it’s got its own rhythm, and you’ve got to feel it,” said the 29-year-old, whose victory saw her finish third in the overall World Cup standings. “I was trying to find this rhythm two days ago at training, and I’ve finally managed to find it, which is really important for me."
The Sochi event also saw Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt win the men’s doubles, before teaming up with Hüfner and Langenhan to win the team relay. The team relay event will celebrate its Olympic debut next year in Sochi.
Following the successful staging of the World Cup event in Sochi, many of the athletes are already looking forward to returning to the venue for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which begin on 7 February next year.
"The track is very nice and difficult,” said Italy’s two-time Olympic champion Armin Zöggeler, who finished fourth in the men’s singles. “It will be interesting to come back here next year."