Meant to post yesterday, but tech SNAFU........prevented me from doing so.
It might just be the equipment and, in some respects, the tech.
As far as the equipment is concerned, with Atomic in charge of the "whole package" of skis, boots and bindings, the technicians are able to truly work on all aspects of Bode's setup at once, not relying on disparate manufacturers to provide their product. Also, Atomic's testing corps is very deep, and they can tweak product during the season without much difficulty (i.e. have a tech-only skier test new SL construction while Bode races in a DH/SG series).
The comment about Bode skiing better on the Fisher SL skis is worth noting. It seems that Bode performs better on Austrian-designed/built SL skis, as he never truly dialed in the newer Rossi product, as Rossi likely tried, but failed, to recreate the Fischer ski feel. It didn't seem to make as much of a difference in GS, as Bode excelled in said event over the past two seasons with Rossi. His DH and SG suffered a bit last season, something that may be attibuted to a combination of the SG/DH skis from Rossi and his speed event boots from Nordica, which Bode now admits were not putting him in the right position over his skis. I'm sure that Bode tested long and hard to find the right setup for boots, and I'm sure that the boot part of the equation was the hardest to pin down during summer testing and negotiations. After all, the boots are the "magic link" for a skier, regardless of ability - perhaps moreso at the elite level.
Note that Bode is only using Eberharter's tech for SG and DH, while he retains his tech from his previous Rossignol days for GS and SL (it's something that required a crash course in Atomic's equipment setup during the summer - obviously to good effect, at least in GS, as Bode has yet to finish a SL this season).
Another note, not Bode-centric: anybody notice that, while Maier is still officially sponsored by Lange boots, he's been racing on Atomic boots in the opening races of the season? I thought his test would merely be at the GS in Austria, but the pictures from Lake Louise show him on Atomic, top-to-bottom. Anybody care to comment? I wonder how this affects his payout for the year, as Lange must be a bit displeased to see their marquee racer on a competitor's product.
Onward to Beaver Creek!
(Also, a li'l footnote: kudos to Kristina Koznick on a 3rd place finish in yesterday's SL in Aspen. The finish puts her in a three-way tie for second in the WC SL standings, and in fifth overall. I guess the newly-independent coaching setup works well for her.)