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.