All data concerning the Zermatt ski descent

All data concerning the Zermatt ski descent

This would be the occasion, the good novelty of the 2022-2023 season of the Ski World Cup. On October 29 and 30 for males and the next weekend for girls, the primary descents from Zermatt to Cervinia will happen on the foot of the Matterhorn in a postcard setting. Designer of the observe, the Valaisan Didier Défago, Olympic champion in Vancouver in 2010, and winner of the Streif and the Lauberhorn, doesn’t cover the truth that the nearer the deadline approaches, the extra the stress rises for him. “So long as the race won’t have taken place, I can’t be quiet, he slips us. I hope that every part will correspond to what we imagined. We’re figuring out the ultimate particulars. »

With a size of about 4 kilometers, the observe, positioned 95% on the Theodule glacier, might be descended in slightly below 2 minutes 30. The beginning might be given in Switzerland beneath the Gobbe di Rollin, close to the Little Matterhorn at 3720 meters above sea degree (slightly decrease for girls) and the arrival above Cervinia at Laghi Cime Bianche at 2835 meters. We are going to see the Matterhorn from all over the place.

The view of the Matterhorn on the piste


It will likely be the primary cross-border descent in historical past, connecting two nations. We had by no means gone to such a excessive altitude in a World Cup. As well as, that is the primary time {that a} descent will happen within the pre-season, in autumn, as in Sölden for the Large. “We have been the one ones who might placed on such an occasion at the moment of yr. And we’re proud to have achieved it,” notes Franz Julen, president of the Zermatt organizing committee and ski lifts.

The first cross-border downhill in World Cup history

The primary cross-border downhill in World Cup historical past


Usually, this new descent ought to have taken place in autumn 2023. If the FIS (Worldwide Ski Federation) insisted with the organizers that it happen a yr earlier, it’s no coincidence. Dropping momentum particularly amongst younger individuals, the World Cup urgently must renew itself, to invent new ideas and this descent is one. President of the FIS since 2021, the Swede Johan Eliash stated it very clearly lately within the Nouvelliste. “We should make our sport extra enticing, rejuvenate it, discover new followers, new markets, new locations. We should develop into adventurers, stand out. That is what we obtain with the Zermatt-Cervinia occasions, which illustrate our new mind-set. We’re going to expertise one thing phenomenal up there, imagine me”.

It will likely be a really full descent with all the required substances

“It will likely be a really full descent with all the required substances” guarantees Didier Défago. There might be every part, very steep passages at greater than 50% the place the pace will exceed 135km / h, sliding sectors, others with turns near a Tremendous G and in addition three extra spectacular jumps than one another. others, two close to the arrival in Italy and one other shortly after departure. Baptized “Matterhorn”, the virtuosos of the slopes will fly there over 40 to 50 meters, proper in entrance of the Matterhorn in all its majesty.

The organizers have brought professionals from the area to their side

The organizers have introduced professionals from the realm to their facet

©Gabriel Perren

Of Zermatt, with its legendary summit, it’s usually stated that, in contrast to different resorts, it doesn’t want publicity, as it’s already naturally identified all through the world. Franz Julen nonetheless strongly believes within the affect of this occasion. “We have not spent a penny on communication and the spin-offs are already monumental. Even earlier than the occasion takes place, it’s already successful. The sponsors have been discovered with out downside. As well as, this descent will happen when vacationers make their reservations for the winter. We’re going to present the entire world that we’re already prepared for the season. We’re going to carry one thing new to the World Cup”. A standpoint totally shared by Zermatt Tourism. “The vacation spot of Zermatt – Matterhorn will exhibit {that a} main worldwide sporting occasion might be organized on the foot of the Matterhorn. Present vacationers from everywhere in the world what awaits them in our mountains”.

We’ve got been working with our Italian neighbors for over 20 years. Our ski areas are united – If the cultures are totally different, there’s a nice respect between us.

Franz Julen, organizer

Novices within the World Cup, the organizers had the intelligence to name on regulars to make certain that every part went nicely. “Individuals got here from Val Gardena. Race chief at Bormio, Massimo Rinaldi additionally gave us a hand,” says Franz Julen. The race was baptized “La Grand Becca because the Matterhorn is named within the dialect of Valle d’Aosta. Why not select Matterhorn or Matterhorn as a substitute, so well-known internationally? Franz Julen totally assumes. “We’ve got been working with our Italian neighbors for over 20 years. Our ski areas are united – If the cultures are totally different, there’s a nice respect between us. Two-thirds of the observe being in Italy, it was regular for the race to bear that title. There has by no means been any downside between us. »

The descent from Zermatt

The descent from Zermatt

©Gabriel Perren

Downhill delusion, Olympic champion in Sapporo in 1972, Bernhard Russi was the architect of all the brand new downhills born lately. For these of the Pyeongchang and Beijing Olympics, he took Didier Défago as his proper arm as a result of “he understands the soul of the downhill. “. The Valaisan considers, for his half, to have benefited with Bernhard “from an optimum college” he smiles. Drawing the descent of Zermatt-Cervinia was for the Valaisan his nice first solo, his baptism of fireplace. However how can we do it? Will we favor the pc, the sphere? “Each,” explains the citizen of Morgins. The pc permits us to ascertain the fundamental plans, the rules however after we refine and we appropriate the sensation on the spot. I introduced my concepts however this descent is the work of an entire crew”. The benefit of the Zermatt-Cervinia piste is that it makes use of 90% of the present websites, the place vacationers usually ski. “We did not need to invent every part like in Beijing, for instance,” notes Défago. Nature has been scrupulously revered. No new set up was created. No bushes have been felled.

La Grand Becca is the name of the track like that of the Matterhorn

La Grand Becca is the title of the observe like that of the Matterhorn

©Gabriel Perren

Two query marks stay. How will the athletes endure such a excessive altitude, the place the air turns into thinner? “Even initially of the season, you’ll already need to be in fine condition,” observes Défago. And what concerning the climate when that the wind usually blows in gusts on the heights of Zermatt? Franz Julen solutions it with philosophy. “Climate is a part of snowboarding. In Aare, Sweden, in 20 years, they’ve solely began from the highest as soon as. Kitzbuhel, at 760 meters above sea degree, it usually rains all week and Wengen typically suffers from the well-known Guggiföhn. »

Who would be the favourite in response to Didier Défago? On such a demanding observe, I can see a Marco Odermatt. In any case, he might be anticipated on the flip.

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