Cross-Border Ski Race



Patrick Thorne

01 Nov 23

Cross-Border Ski Race Is On

Patrick Thorne

01 Nov 23

The international Ski Federation (FIS) has given the green light to Zermatt and Cervinia who are hoping to run the first ever cross-border ski races over the weekends of 11/12 November and 18/19 November 2023.

The new course, christened La Gran Becca, is also the highest and one of the longest ever created and will be run by both men and women.  Each will run two downhills on the Saturday and Sunday, the men on the first weekend, the women on the second, starting their descent a little lower down.

The races were supposed to have been run last autumn, but there was not enough snow in the glacier. This time there’s been natural snowfall and in any case the organisers had stockpiled snow if needed, so it seems that only bad weather might stop them happening this time.

That’s what’s happened with the Men’s Giant Slalom competition at Solden in the Austrian Tirol, which had been due to be the opening event of the men’s Alpine world cup 23-24 calendar. Unfortunately strong winds left to the event being cancelled after the top racers had competed the first run.  With no chance of the wind easing, there was no option but cancelling the race.

“The decision was pretty easy, unfortunately,” said Markus Waldner, FIS Chief Race Director Alpine Men.

The women though did complete their race on Saturday with near perfect conditions after skies cleared following fresh snowfall last week, with Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami taking her 38th victory.

The Zermatt-Cervinia Gran Becca course starts at 3,800 metres above sea level, one of the highest lift served places in the Alps, and finishes at 2,865 metres above sea level, was designed by Didier Défago, 2010 Olympic downhill champion. Covering 935 metres of altitude over four kilometres, the maximum speed is around 135 km/h.


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