6 Sep

How Michelle Gisin became an ambassador for Crans-Montana/Valais 2025

Crans-Montana has more than one attraction up its sleeve in the attempt to secure the 2025 World Championships.  The Valais bid can count on the unlimited support of Michelle Gisin. The Olympic Combined champion is the ambassador for the project, which she supports with great enthusiasm. Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger are delighted to have her on their team.

Video (in French only): Laurent Morel and Johan Tachet/SkiActu


2 Jun

An absorbing 2020/21 season approaches!

Crans-Montana and Valais are already looking ahead to the 2020-2021 season. A season that will be launched on Saturday 3 October in Zurich, when the organisers of the 2025 Alpine World Ski Championships will be revealed, the Haut-Plateau resort is of course a candidate. Its rivals: Saalbach-Hinterglemm/AUT (favorit) and Garmisch-Partenkirschen/GER. Heavyweights !

Crans-Montana will be organising its now traditional men’s night slalom on Tuesday 29 December 2020, before continuing with the organization of two women’s European Cup downhill races on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January 2021, then the World Cup races, one women’s downhill and one alpine combined, on the weekend of 23 and 24 January 2021.

Marius Robyr, executive director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid and president of the World Cup races Organisation Committee, presents the various challenges to be faced next winter.  

Video (in French only): Laurent Morel and Johann Tachet/SkiActu

27 Mar

Worlds 2025: Crans-Montana/Valais will have to wait

On Friday, the International Ski Federation (FIS) decided to postpone its congress, due to be held between 17 and 23 May 2020 at Royal Cliff in Thailand, due to the current global health crisis.

During the congress, amongst other items on the agenda, two important votes were planned: to appoint the host resort for the 2025 Alpine World Ski Championships, and to elect the new FIS president. Regarding the organisation of the 2025 Worlds, Crans-Montana/Valais is one of the candidates, alongside Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany). The president of Swiss Ski, Urs Lehmann, has also announced that he is one of the candidates hoping to succeed Gianfranco Kasper at the head of the FIS.

« We’re not going to let this slow us down, we’ll continue polishing the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 presentation to improve it even further, and we’ll be stepping up our contact with the voters », explains Marius Robyr, executive director of Crans-Montana/Valais 2025.

The FIS plans to organise a new congress in the autumn. One of the solutions for the FIS would be to organise it during the annual pre-season meeting, which takes place in Zurich every year. Whilst we wait for the new congress to be organised, Gianfranco Kasper will remain at the head of the federation.  

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana

Pas Thailande

25 Feb

Urs Lehmann: "We’re going to the FIS congress to win"

The president of Swiss-Ski, Urs Lehmann, was an attentive spectator at the World Cup races in Crans-Montana. As well as being pleased with the results of the Swiss skiers in the Haut-Plateau competitions, he also took the opportunity during his visit to mention the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid for the World Championships.

The Crans-Montana/Valais bid will be presented in May at the annual FIS congress in the hope of hosting the 2025 Alpine Ski World Championships. What are the chances of getting them?
I can assure you that we are going to the FIS congress in May to win. But we also have to be realistic. We shouldn’t forget that the FIS follow a political process and that makes it difficult. Because Saalbach-Hinterglemm lost last time against Courchevel/Meribel for 2023, they are the favourites this time around, and we have to respect this. Whatever happens, this bid is going to help us for 2027, and that’s why we have to go for it.  We have to be confident and fight until the end.

So for Swiss-Ski, there’s no doubt about it, the next time the Worlds are organised in Switzerland, it will be in Crans-Montana?
Absolutely. In 2014, the assembly of Swiss-Ski delegates voted pretty much unanimously for Crans-Montana. The Valais resort is destined to host the World Championships. The most important thing still missing is the new finish stadium, to meet FIS demands. It is crucial that Crans-Montana pushes the various construction related to the bid forwards.

Have you had any comments on the Crans-Montana/Valais bid from the FIS?
You know, in this environment everything is always very secretive. Things are discussed behind closed doors. There is a huge amount of lobbying. All I can say is that we are in a good position.

Urs Lehmann

24 Feb

Mont Lachaux: a piste worthy of the World Championships

Crans-Montana was once again the scene for sensational races this weekend. And the very least that can be said is that the World Cup skiers were charmed by the Mont Lachaux piste, and had great praise for it. As for the president Marius Robyr, the organising committee received congratulations from all of the White Circus for races which were «worthy of the World Championships ».

Corinne Suter, who had already been in third place in the Crans-Montana Downhill in 2019, had high praise for the Haut-Plateau piste. «It has everything that gives a downhill piste its strength, and it would of course be perfect for the World Championships», declared the 25 year old from Schwyz.  The top Downhill skier this winter was extremely happy to have secured the crystal Globe in the discipline in front of the Swiss public on Saturday.

For Lara Gut-Behrami, it hasn’t exactly been love at first sight from her first competition on the Mont Lachaux piste  - she didn’t finish the Downhill in 2014, and despite several successful training sessions, she wasn’t ever able to impose in a race. But she finally managed to remedy that this year, by winning two Downhills in 24 hours ! «I definitely appreciate this piste a lot more now ! », joked the 28 year old from Ticino.   The Comano local admitted that she would be more than satisfied if the World Championships take place in Valais in 2025.  


And what about Federica Brignone, who talks about Crans-Montana as a «magical place»? The Italian won the Combined, her fourth in four years on the Mont Lachaux piste.

Even Austria’s Nina Ortlieb, third in Saturday’s Downhill greatly appreciated it.  "I love races in Crans-Montana and I’m really grateful to everyone who prepared the piste. It’s thanks to them that I was able to finish on the podium despite my number 20 race bib and the high temperatures.» 

The next rendez-vous with the Women’s World Cup in Crans-Montana is 23 and 24 January 2021. Once again, there will be a Downhill and a Combined.  


Ester Ledecka: “This piste is going to become my favourite.”

Finishing on the third step of the World Cup podium on Sunday in Crans-Montana, Ester Ledecka has once again surprised the White Circus. The Olympic champion in snowboarding parallel giant and alpine ski Super-G in PyeongChang continues to fine-tune her talent, watched by the general public. While until now she was known for speed disciplines, the 24 year old athlete was able to make her mark in the slalom on the Mont Lachaux piste, finishing in the 5th best time in the heat, and on a particularly demanding piste.   

While she is still going to alternate between alpine skiing and snowboarding until the end of the season, and has already won in both sports, Ester Ledecka still has the smile and motivation that she is known for. Interview after Sunday’s success on the Haut-Plateau.

Ester Ledecka, was finishing on the Combined podium a surprise for you ?

Everybody was surprised, even my trainers, but it was a great surprise. To be honest, it’s just magical. I can enjoy myself anywhere. It was a challenge because I never train on a piste this steep, and I only have 5 days experience of slalom.

It has been very warm in Crans-Montana. How did you manage the situation ?

I was here four years ago, and I was only able to do a mini-training due to the unsuitable weather.  I have to say that this time the organisers have done an incredible job preparing this extraordinary piste during the three competition days. I don’t even know how it was possible to have a piste in such good condition with these kind of temperatures. I’m really honoured to have been able to benefit from their work.

Will you be back next season?

Yes, of course I’m going to put these races on my calendar. It seems like this piste is going to become my favourite.  

Has your snowboarding experience helped you ?  

I don’t know. I haven’t trained in snowboarding much this season, so I hope that it’ll work the other way round too, because I’m in the line-up for the parallel slalom at Livigno (ed: 10 March).

Do you prefer the slalom on skis or snowboard?

It’s very different, but I enjoy both.

You’re capable of winning in snowboard and skiing too. How do you recover ?  

I don’t recover, I’m a robot (laughs). No seriously, I have to take care and I have to use a lot of oil in my system, it’s mechanical (laughs). No really, I do all I can to relax in the short breaks between races, but it’s not always easy. Of course I do two different sports, but a lot of girls compete in all the ski disciplines and that’s just as difficult, or even more so. You’re on the road for six months. But I really love that.

In view of the 2022 Olympic Games, are you aiming for skiing and snowboarding ?

Of course (smiles). I will be trying to win in every race I compete in, as always. But I’m not the only one who has this state of mind. I’m going to do everything I can to win, I can’t do much more.

You’re brilliant in snowboarding, speed skiing and now even technical too!  What are your limits?

I have no limits for the moment (laughs).

24 Feb

«The buzz around skiing will spread throughout Valais»

Just like tens of thousands of other fans, Frédéric Favre was delighted by the great atmosphere in the "cauldron" of Crans-Montana on Friday and Saturday. The state councillor for Valais insisted that «the public has always been extremely enthusiastic about skiing» on the Haut-Plateau. 

Frédéric Favre

This wave of enthusiasm also has a positive impact on the athletes in the resort, which is a candidate for organisation of the 2025 World Championships. «All of the White Circus milieu is visibly happy to be here in Crans-Montana», he was delighted to say in the finish area for the World Cup races. Frédéric Favre guarantees a warm welcome for team members and also for the Swiss and international public. «It would of course be the same for the World Championships», he promises. The forty-something from Vétroz, who has been in office since 2017, is convinced that «the buzz around skiing will spread throughout Valais». The state councillor welcomes the fact that the population «have a strong desire to experience something as special as the 1987 championships».

According to Frédéric Favre, the buzz is jut as much for the women’s as the men’s races: «We Valaisans simply love all of the disciplines, whether it’s slalom, downhill or combined. I’m convinced that it would be in the best interests of the FIS to have a presence in locations such as Crans-Montana».

What is the Canton of Valais going to do for the World Championship bid? «The most important thing is definitely lending political support in all the domains», he explains.

The aim is to show that it’s not just the ski resort, the organising committee and the cable car company who are interested in the World Cup, but the entire canton of Valais.» Valais has promised the FIS that they will «support the candidacy, as demonstrated in the slogan ‘Tous ensemble’(all together) ». The state councillor in charge of sport is convinced that the Valaisans want to « experience great moments of intense emotion ».

24 Feb

"Our candidacy has what it takes"

On Friday, Nicolas Féraud was among the 7,000 (!) spectators watching the first of the three World Cup races in Crans-Montana. The president of the commune cheerfully celebrated the double Swiss win in the downhill, thanks to Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter. Also president of the bid for the 2025 World Championships, he was «delighted to see so many people had taken the day off to come to the Haut-Plateau».

Nicolas Féraud welcomed the fact that «the public all appreciate the races in Crans-Montana, on a site that is simply idyllic».  The great atmosphere is of course very positive, but it is also important for the president that the resort can prove that it is capable of organising three high-level races in three days: "In this way, we can show the FIS our full potential".


The organisers in Crans-Montana have acquired this expertise in a relatively short time. As a matter of fact, it has been only fifteen years since the local population and politicians decided that they wanted to organise the World Cup races once again, remembers Nicolas Féraud: "After all, skiing is in our genes here, even in the rest of Valais.” Crans-Montana is driven by a desire "to introduce its ski area to a wider audience. We also want to provide a warm welcome for guests and ensure that they have an enjoyable stay".

For Nicolas Féraud, Marius Robyr has been the key figure in this over the past fifteen years. "Without Marius as president of the organising committee, we would never have been able to get this far, he declares. He is the one that has been able to rally politicians at a municipal, cantonal and even federal level, as well as private sponsors to support our cause. Marius has a strong personality and he manages to spread his passion to everyone else".

It is precisely this passion that is vital if Crans-Montana wants to secure the Worlds alongside the World Cup. Nicolas Féraud describes the Valais bid as "exemplary" and "perfect". At the same time, he is aware that the rival bids from Austria and Germany have also worked very hard on their own applications. If Saalbach, who were narrowly defeated for the 2023 Championships, were to win the bid for 2025 "There would be a certain logic to that", believes Nicolas Féraud. And in the event that this does happen, the president promises to get back to work immediately and do everything possible for 2027. "We won’t give up!" he promises !

24 Feb

The adventure will continue, whatever happens

Over a relatively short time, the Crans-Montana races have become Classics which are very much appreciated in the Women’s World Cup, notably thanks to the demanding Mont Lachaux piste. The impressive final wall is a part of this legend, as we saw in the men’s exhibition night slalom in January, which took place in front of some 4,000 spectators. The resort also boasts the Nationale piste, which since the 1987 World Championships has been seen as legendary, especially from a Swiss perspective…

So what could be more logical than for the Haut-Plateau destination to be aiming for the World Championships. "We have everything needed to make it work", declares Marius Robyr, president of the World Cup Organisation Committee, and Executive Director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid for the 2025 Worlds. One of the major strengths of the Valais candidature is the firm support of the local population.


Firm support from the local population

Just like in 1987, the backing from the local community is "total", according to Marius Robyr. The big boss of the races estimates that after the presentation on 26 January "if there were a vote, probably 90% of the people asked would be in favour of the World Championships.  Unlike the Olympic Games, the local population doesn’t fear the huge scale." Furthermore, those in charge of tourism and politics wholeheartedly support Marius Robyr and his team. « We want these Worlds », declares the former Patrouille des Glaciers commander.

Although at the moment he is on-site all the time, from morning until evening, for both the European Cup and the World Cup, Marius Robyr is finding time to prepare for the big alpine ski meet. He estimates that the work takes "two to three hours" a day, and that everything will be in order by the end of April. The former brigadier is also prepared to get up early to reach this goal:  «These days, my alarm goes off at 5am, he explains. I then take my ski-touring skis from the World Cup finish area up to the departure point, all before the races start.»

Marius Robyr is as proactive, enthusiastic and optimistic as ever, but he is also able to balance out the situation. He is conscious that Crans-Montana/Valais is not the favourite for the 2025 Worlds: "That’s just the way it is. We have two excellent competitors in Saalbach and Garmisch. In addition, Saalbach has already applied for the 2023 World Championships, and it’s rare that a candidate wins the jackpot first time".

Winning over the FIS council members

But Marius Robyr wouldn’t be Marius Robyr if he accepted the situation without fighting back as the vote in Royal Cliff on 21 May approaches.  

"We’re not looking at the others, we’re concentrating on what we can do". During the presentation of the extensive bid book to the FIS, the Executive Director of the bid felt that there was wide support for the project from the committee. The aim of the decisive presentation in Thailand in three months is to "transmit to the outside world the best possible image of Crans-Montana and Valais", while « remaining faithful to our ideas, our guidelines and above all remaining realistic ».

«Alongside my team, we’re going to do everything we can to persuade the 17 members of the FIS council to place their confidence in us and therefore give us their vote, explains Marius Robyr. We’re hoping to make them want to come to Crans Montana.» If it doesn’t turn out to be in 2025, the Valais resort will apply again in two years’ time.  «We’ll be candidates again in 2027 if we have to, or even a third time if necessary», confirms Marius Robyr. «The adventure continues and will continue », he promises.

22 Jan

Great acclaim for the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 project

Marius Robyr, the executive director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid committee for the Ski World Championships in 2025, presented the project to the population of Valais on Wednesday evening. A project which was extremely well-received. Over 300 people accepted the invitation from Marius Robyr on Wednesday evening. The local population was invited to Le Régent in Crans-Montana to hear details of the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 candidature project, which will be presented to the FIS in May, aiming to obtain the organisation of the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2025.

A huge challenge

After a welcome speech by David Bagnoud, president of the Crans-Montana Association of Communes (ACCM), and president of Lens, Marius Robyr, executive director for the candidature, presented all the aspects of this huge project. The objectives of the evening - to inform and inspire the population of Valais - were definitely met, thanks to an enthusiastic presentation which was greeted with loud applause from the audience. 

Several notions that are important to the bid committee were central in the speech: authenticity, youth, sustainability, emotion and passion.  It shouldn’t be forgotten that Crans-Montana has a long tradition of alpine racing dating back to 1911, and organised the 1987 World Championships with brio and pride on its Mont Lachaux and Nationale pistes.

Considerable support

In order to host this celebration of global skiing once again, the considerable budget for organisation amounts to some 77 million francs. For the event, the Haut-Plateau resort is going to build a completely modernised multi-purpose finish stadium, as well as offering more hotel infrastructure and also increasing the capacity of parking and also the Violettes ski lift. Due to the size of the project, the bid committee can count on support from the Haut-Plateau communes, the canton of Valais, the Confederation and Swiss-Ski, via the president Urs Lehmann, who is also vice-president for the bid committee. Philippe P. Magistretti, president of the CMA board of directors, the Valais state councillor Frédéric Favre, Sandra Felix, vice director of the Federal Office of Sport, and Nicolas Féraud, president of the Crans Montana community and also the bid itself, also spoke in support of Crans-Montana/Valais 2025.

Despite his enthusiasm, Marius Robyr hasn’t forgotten the reality on the ground. He pointed out that the path towards election of the host resort at the FIS congress, which is being held in Thailand between 18 and 23 May, is still a long one. Hugo Steinegger, vice-director of the bid and coordinator of the delegation that will be travelling to the congress, is also more than aware of this. He will be doing everything possible to ensure that at Royal Cliff, the Valais presentation will be a memorable one. The Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid is considered an outsider against Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen and especially against the Austrian candidate, Saalbach.

DEPREZphoto, cransmontana

Marius Robyr, executivedirectorof the 2025 Crans-Montana/Valais Bid Committee

David Bagnoud, president of the Crans-Montana Association of Communes and president of the commune of Lens

The public out in force , some 300 people

Philippe P. Magistretti, president of the CMA lift company board of directors


Frédéric Favre, State Councillor for the canton of Valais


Sandra Felix, vice-director of the Federal Office of Sport


Nicolas Féraud, president of the Crans-Montana commune and president of the Bid Committee  


All together: from left Claude-Alain Schmidhalter, Vice-President of Swiss-Ski, Marius Robyr, Frédéric Favre, Sandra Felix and Nicolas Féraud (David Bagnoud and Philippe Magistretti, unfortunately missing due to other engagements)

  Video (in French only): Johan Tachet/SkiActu

 Video (in French only): Keystone-ats



6 Oct

A committed and motivated Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 Alpine FIS World Ski Championships bid committee

Step by step, stage after stage, and working very closely with Swiss-Ski, the committed and highly motivated bid committee for the Crans-Montana/ Valais 2025 Alpine FIS World Ski Championships is heading towards the final decision, which will be made by the FIS council on 21 May during the International Ski Federation congress at Royal Cliff in Thailand. 

The 180 page bid book, which includes a number of illustrations of technical plans (for exemple, photo), was submitted to the FIS by the deadline at the beginning of September. The FIS then convened the three candidates for the 2025 WC, Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Austria, Garmisch-Partenkirchen/Germany and Crans-Montana, as well as other candidates, namely Trondheim/Norway (WC 2025 nordic ski), Harrachov/Czech Republic (WC 2024 ski flying) and Krasnoyarsk/Russia (WC 2025 freestyle ski and snowboard), to a coordination meeting lasting several days. Then, all candidates were required to make a test presentation at the traditional FIS autumn session which took place the first week of October in Zurich. Each candidate had an hour to present and explain the main themes of their bid to a group of FIS experts, led by the secretary general, Sarah Lewis. 

The Crans-Montana/Valais delegation was very well prepared, and was well received thanks to an animated presentation by the following representatives (photo from left) : Bruno Huggler, director of Crans-Montana Tourism and Congress; Nicolas Féraud, president of Crans-Montana commune and president of the bid strategic committee; Dr. Urs Lehmann, Swiss-Ski president and vice-president of the bid strategic committee; Marius Robyr, director of the bid committee; Sophie Genoud, secretary; Hugo Steinegger, vice-director; Markus Murmann, sport manager.