7 Sep

The return of spectators for the 2022 World and European Cup events in Crans-Montana

It's a must. At the end of every summer, the FIS International Ski Federation carries out its traditional technical inspections at the World and European Cup host sites. On Tuesday 7th September, it stopped off in Crans-Montana. Good news: in the current COVID-19 situation, the women's events that will take place this winter on the Mont Lachaux piste will finally see the return of spectators.

At the end of February, Crans-Montana will be living for speed, and has announced a truly XL programme: two women’s European Cup downhills, on the weekend of February 19 and 20 (training: 17/18.02) and one week later, on February 26 and 27, two downhills for the World Cup classic (training: 24/25.02). The latter promises to be exciting in the wake of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. Will there be a whiff of revenge on the Haut Plateau?

The inspection took place under the guidance of Peter Gerdol, FIS Director of Women's Alpine Skiing, and Marius Robyr, President of the Crans-Montana Organising Committee. Representatives of RTS Télévision Suisse Romande, the host broadcaster of the Valais World Cup events, and Swiss-Ski were also present.

During the inspection, there was a particular focus on the topic of COVID-19, and the protection measures required by the FIS, especially for athletes and those accompanying them. Other important points were discussed, such as the position of cameras on the course, the organisation of the start and finish areas, accreditation and team accommodation. The whole event took place in excellent conditions and in a convivial atmosphere.

Photos: DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana

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The inspection group, from left to right: Patrice Morisod (OC Piste Director), Julien Baszanger (RTS Producer), Sophie Genoud (OC Coordinator), Bertrand Cassignol (CMA), Jordi Pujol (FIS European Cup Coordinator), Thierry Overnay (RTS), Franz Hofer (Swiss-Ski), Marius Robyr (OC), Markus Murmann (OC Race Director) , Dominique Morard (OC Chief Constructions) , Peter Gerdol (FIS Women's Alpine Skiing Director), Jean-Philippe Vulliet (FIS Women's Speed Group Director), Andreas Krönner (FIS Women's Alpine Technical Manager) and Beat Tschuor (Swiss-Ski Women's Alpine Chief). 
11 Jun

Unprecedented television success for the Crans-Montana races 2021!

Despite the pandemic which prevented the public from attending the three 2021 Women’s World Cup races in Crans-Montana, many of you followed the competition on the small screen. Never before has the event been so successful on television. These figures are all the more positive as the weather at the time was good for snow sports.

The downhill on Saturday 23 January was watched by 434,000 viewers on SRF Zwei, for a market share of 72%! The super G on Sunday 24 January was even more successful, with some 514,000 viewers in German-speaking Switzerland, representing a 71% share of the market. In percentage terms, this was quite simply the best result of the season for the World Cup races in Switzerland last winter, for both men’s and women’s together!

The increase in the number of viewers from 2020 to 2021 is spectacular, with the downhill and super G attracting 49% and 65% more people respectively. The market share for the two races increased by 7% and 21% respectively. In French-speaking Switzerland, over 80,000 people watched the races each day, for a market share of 52%.

Overall, several million people around the world followed the World Cup races in Crans-Montana, as the event was broadcast in 55 countries. The audience is growing in all territories.

We thank you warmly for your enthusiasm in front of your TV this year, and we hope to see you soon in the finish area of the Mont Lachaux piste.

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2 Apr

Crans-Montana World Cup 2022: optimism from the organisers and Melanie Oesch

The organisers of the 2022 Ski World cup races in Crans-Montana are optimistic that the event on 26/27 February will be able to take place with spectators once again. The three ghost races in January were nevertheless a great success in terms of organisation and national and international television audiences, but the atmosphere created by the ski fans and the traditional variety of entertainment alongside the races was sorely lacking.

As far as this is concerned, there is good news for the 2022 version: the most famous folk music group in Switzerland, Oesch’s die Dritten, will be presenting their promising new show as part of the World Cup Party, which will take place on Saturday 26 February at Le Régent Tennis Centre. Assuming, of course, that Covid doesn’t veto it !

Melanie Oesch and the organiser of the World Cup Party, Hugo Steinegger (photo lead), are very optimistic after signing the contract with the Oesch's. The musicians from the Bernese Oberland, who are also popular in French-speaking Switzerland, are offering their fans a nice surprise for Easter.  

Please click here

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22 Mar

Thanks from Swiss-Ski for Crans-Montana's European Cup commitment

Norway’s Marte Monsen and Austria’s Maximilian Lahnsteiner took the overall ranking of the 2020/21 European Cup. The 21-year-old Scandinavian is the Slalom specialist, while the 24-year-old Austrian is more focused on speed. But the Swiss also shone brightly. 

Ralph Weber (4th) and Simone Wild (9th) were the best Swiss skiers this year, in this antechamber to the World Cup. However, the most important thing to remember is that three women and four men have secured permanent places in the White Circus next winter by finishing in the top three. Jasmina Suter (25, 1st in the Super-G ), Stephanie Jenal (23, 2nd  in the Super-G), Simone Wild (27, 2nd  in the Giant), Stefan Rogentin (26, 1st in the Super-G), Ralph Weber (27, 2nd in the Super-G), Semyel Bissig (23, 2nd in the Giant) and Marc Rochat (28, 3rd in the Slalom) have secured their places.

As all seven skiers are already in the world’s top 60, they will not be taking World Cup places from any Swiss skiers.  They are simply entitled to an extra place, on top of the Swiss quota in their discipline. This is rather good news.

This overall result is also much better than last year’s, when only Rahel Kopp (Downhill), Jasmina Suter (Super-G) and Semyel Bissig (Combined) achieved the same result. Walter Reusser, Swiss-Ski Alpine director, was very satisfied: "Having two additional places is extremely useful, especially in the Super-G, where we are very successful, and where there is not necessarily a place for young people. It gives us some breathing space and creates opportunities for the next generation."  

The European Cup, second only to the World Cup, included a total of 56 races this winter:  30 for the men, and 26 for the women. Of these, 13 were held in Switzerland (Zinal 8, Meiringen-Hasliberg 2, Melchsee-Frutt 2, Crans-Montana 1 (the second Downhill had to be cancelled due to too much fresh snow).

While the men’s programme was fairly balanced (6 Downhills, 7 Super-G, 8 Slaloms and 8 Giants and 1 Combined), the women’s calendar was more technically oriented, with only 3 Downhills and 4 Super-G, compared to 10 Giants and 9 Slaloms. "We noticed that there is less density in the technical disciplines in Switzerland ", continues Walter Reusser. "We’re working intensively on this. The goal is to have strong teams in all disciplines. This is the only way to have a chance of winning the Nations Cup.". 

In total, Switzerland celebrated ten European Cup victories thanks to Stephanie Jenal, Jasmine Flury, Jasmina Suter, Justin Murisier, Ralph Weber, Joel Lütolf, Lars Rösti, Josua Mettler, Semyel Bissig and Stefan Rogentin). Seven of these wins took place on Swiss pistes (6 in Zinal, 1 in Crans-Montana).  

According to Walter Reusser, Switzerland’s strength in the speed sector is direct linked to the efforts made in Swiss ski resorts, and he is very pleased about this: "It is very gratifying to have lots of European Cup races in Switzerland. This creates platforms for the next generation.  Crans-Montana, as the organiser of the World Cup, European Cup and a training partner, deserves a big thank you.  Swiss-Ski greatly appreciates the fact that Crans-Montana has organised European Cup races every year since it ventured into the domain of the World Cup again in 2008, like the European Cup finals in 2009, which were a great success."

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana

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Thanks to her victory in the European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana, Jasmine Flury from the canton Grisons finished the season in fifth place in the discipline.


The European Cup 2020/21 top-3 (plus the best Swiss)

Women

Overall (26 races): 1. Marte Monsen NOR  591. 2. Andreja Slokar SLO  553. 3. Jessica Hilzinger GER  522. – 9. Simone Wild 382.  

DOwnhill (3): 1. Lisa Grill AUT  280. 2. Nadine Fest AUT   160. 3. Vanessa Nussbaumer AUT  114. – 5. Jasmine Flury 100. 8. Stephanie Jenal 84. 9. Noémie Kolly 79. 10. Rahel Kopp 76. 14. Katja Grossmann 51. 15. Delia Durrer 50.  

Super-G (4): 1. Jasmina Suter SUI  252. 2. Stephanie Jenal SUI  250. 3. Julia Pleshkova  RUS  180. – 5. Rahel Kopp 149. 13. Delia Durrer 80.  

Giant Slalom (10): 1. Marte Monsen NOR  553. 2. Simone Wild SUI 382. 3. Hilma Loevblom SWE  350. – 23. Vanessa Kasper 107. 24. Selina Egloff 106. 26. Viviane Haerri 102. 27. Camille Rast 88.  

Slalom (9): 1. Andreja Slokar SLO  465. 2. Lara Della Mea ITA  341. 3. Sara Rask SWE 297. – 22. Selina Egloff 111. 35. Camille Rast 60.  

Men

Overall (30): 1. Maximilian Lahnsteiner AUT  692. 2. Raphael Haaser AUT  668. 3. Dominik Raschner AUT   570. – 4. Ralph Weber 496. 5. Stefan Rogentin 429. 9. Lars Rösti 360.  

Downhill (6): 1. Victor Schuller FRA  334. 2. Maximilian Lahnsteiner AUT  319. 3. Erik Arvidsson USA  285. – 6. Yannick Chabloz 175. 7. Ralph Weber 160. 8. Lars Rösti und Gilles Roulin je 147.  

Super-G (7): Stefan Rogentin SUI  328. 2. Ralph Weber SUI  325. 3. Roy Piccard  FRA 305. – 6. Lars Rösti 213. 7. Nils Mani 179. 8. Arnaud Boisset 164. 11. Josua Mettler 136. 14. Alexis Monney 128.  

Giant Slalom (8): 1. Dominik Raschner AUT  353. 2. Semyel Bissig SUI  301. 3. Timon Haugen NOR  300. – 20. Cédric Noger 104.  

Slalom (8): 1. Billy Major GBR  258. 2. Anton Tremmell GER  248. 3. Marc Rochat  SUI  237. – 14. Dionys Kippel 149. 15. Noel von Grünigen 143. 17. Joel Lütolf 126.  

Alpin Combined (1): 1. Joel Lütolf SUI  100. 2. Florian Loriot FRA  80. 3. Luca Aerni SUI 60.   

21 Mar

Michelle Gisin: “One of my biggest dreams”

Michelle Gisin, the charismatic and much-loved ambassador for the 2027 Crans-Montana Alpine World Ski Championships bid, finished third in the overall World Cup standings and has once again continued to improve this winter. With her capacity for good performances in all disciplines, her future looks bright. 

It was a very emotional moment for Michelle Gisin when she took the third step of the podium in the overall World Cup ranking on Sunday. Although the skier from Engelberg is used to being part of the award ceremonies this winter, in Lenzerheide she almost took the wrong place, as she climbed up onto the second step. It’s perhaps only a matter of time before she does though, as her progress has been linear over the past few years. She has been battling it out against Petra Vlhova at the top of the rankings for a long time, but the Slovakian has finally managed to get ahead, and has now overtaken Lara Gut-Behrami, who got off to a flying start a few weeks ago.

But this season has still been “Micken’s” best in terms of results, at least in the World Cup. “Taking my place on this podium is very emotional, as I’ve been dreaming of this ever since I was a little girl", said the Swiss skier with the friendliest smile in the world. When I finished my Giant on Sunday, I was very emotional, and I was also able to share it with my family. Being on this podium, while also being 4th in the Giant and the Slalom over the season makes me very proud. It’s really wonderful.”

Brilliant despite her fatigue

And in Graubünden, Michelle Gisin ended her season with two convincing results after a more complicated weekend in Åre. The Obwaldian climbed onto yet another podium, her 6th this winter, in the slalom and took a solid 5th place in the Giant. “The fatigue is immense, she admitted. It’s been an incredible season, ending with a great result. I fought hard today (editor’s note: Sunday), it was really intense and very difficult. And Saturday was also very special. It was my first podium place in a slalom in Switzerland, it was wonderful.”

It’s hard to find anything negative about Dominique and Marc’s sister. “This winter I took a big step forward in the Giant with these first podium places, and finishing on the box four times in the slalom has been really valuable”, she says. On top of this, I’ve rediscovered really great feeling and confidence in my speed. It’s great because every time I’ve been at the start gate, I’ve said to myself: ‘you can manage something really good’. It’s an amazing feeling. “

Are your sights set on the crystal globe?

“We would have put our name to this a year ago, to see her always up there in all the disciplines", adds her coach, Denis Wicki. “She has really put in a string of good performances, and her uphill curve should mean that she can dream of the crystal globe next season. “It’s important to continue progressing", she confirms. However I don’t think about the results straight away, but rather in terms of performance.” 

A plan made with Denis Wicki should allow her to achieve more wins and reach the top of her game. “That’s where there is a difference between the top two,” says the Olympic combined champion.  “You need to be good at speed too. But as I often say, the big Globe is not a goal, it’s more a dream. There are too many factors playing a part to say whether I’m going to get there. I already want to continue skiing at my level.” 

The Valaisan coach adds: “Michelle has to win the disciplines that she is best at, and today that is the Giant and the slalom. She has to win in both, several times, and afterwards she’ll do speed, when the conditions allow. Then she’ll have the level and the credibility to win the crystal globe, but not before then. The goal is set for next year, we’ve already talked about it. We know where we’re going.” A trip to Cerro Castor, close to Ushuaïa (ARG) is already planned this summer with certain skiers from the Swiss team to prepare for next season. Provided that the pandemic allows it, of course.

Photos: Agence Zoom

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25 Jan

A thousand THANKS!

Advertising "Remerciements" in Le Nouvelliste from 26.01.2021

2021-01-25 Remerciements

25 Jan

Urs Lehmann: "100 points for Crans-Montana’s bid for the 2027 Worlds"

The week before the World Cup races in Crans-Montana, Swiss-Ski faced the cancellation of the Lauberhorn races in Wengen. The president of the Swiss skiing association, Urs Lehmann, was therefore relieved that the Women’s Classic on Mont Lachaux could take place as planned this weekend.

" I am very grateful and glad. We all know that we are in a difficult period at the moment. In Switzerland too, lots of things are coming to a standstill. But we are privileged to be able to continue practicing our sport. Thanks to Crans-Montana for being able to deal with the issues", declared a relieved Urs Lehmann.

A major commitment

The former world downhill champion from Aargau, who has been at the helm of Swiss-Ski since 2008, has a wealth of experience. But on Saturday afternoon, under the azure blue sky that dominated the Haut-Plateau, and after a magnificent downhill,  Lehmann was very enthusiastic : "The winner (editor’s note: Sofia Goggia) received 100 points for her result. But today, Crans-Montana also deserves 100 points for its efforts. Everyone’s commitment, from the president of the Organising Committee, Marius Robyr, to the many motivated volunteers, was simply top-notch”.

It is when days, and even the nights, are as tricky as last weekend, that it becomes clear if an organiser is worthy of organising the World Championships. "Crans-Montana has once again shown its impressive capabilities, and presented the best possible business card for its bid for the 2027 World Championships", continues Urs Lehmann.

The next step : making the bid official 

 For Marius Robyr, it is extremely pleasing to be congratulated in this way by Urs Lehmann. "We always do our best. It’s great when reactions are so positive". The president of the Organising Committee for the World Cup races, who is also Executive Director for the 2027 World Championship bid, intends to build on this momentum 

In a few weeks’ time, the bid for the World Championships has to be officially submitted to the International Ski Federation (FIS), and its president Gian Franco Kasper. The World Championships,  which would be the second to be held in Crans Montana after the 1987 event, are to be awarded at the FIS Congress in Portugal in May 2022.  

Video: SkiActu

 

24 Jan

Marius Robyr: "I couldn’t be happier"

Despite less than ideal weather conditions and a lot of snowfall overnight, the three speed races planned as part of the World Cup were able to be held, and ran smoothly, in Crans-Montana. "If you had told me this a week ago, I would have hardly believed it. I would even have bet with anyone that they wouldn’t take place”, admits the president of the Organising Committee, Marius Robyr.

According to the boss of the Haut-Plateau women’s "Classic", "everyone worked like crazy to make these three competitions possible". After another successful Super-G on Sunday, Marius Robyr is even happier : "The outcome for me is extremely positive.  It almost makes you forget the accumulated fatigue".

Wonderful races to reward the efforts overnight   

The night between Friday and Saturday was particularly memorable for the head of the organisation. A remarkable night followed by a magnificent day, illustrating the remarkable work of his entire team: "The alarm went off at 3 in the morning. An hour later, 180 people were working on the mountain. Firstly the piste was cleared of snow, then prepared ". These efforts overnight were worth it, "because we had a superb downhill, and the sun even came out".

Saturday also illustrated the progress that has been made in the organization of the event. "We now have an exceptional team that works very hard, as well as an Organising Committee that has really grown together, with everyone pulling in the same direction. When I look at the results, I couldn’t be more satisfied ", says the brigadier, still full of energy.

Partners and employees are thanked

Marius Robyr also takes the opportunity to thank the army and civil protection. "Without them, it would be very, very difficult to organise the World Cup races ". The ski lifts are also a key partner in the whole structure. "When I call CMA and tell them that we need gondola lifts at 4am in the morning, and a little help, they reply that it’s not a problem. So congratulations to them too ! "

And the Organising Committe president doesn’t forget to thank "the municipalities, that lend us their full support and provide considerable financial backing". The competitions in Crans-Montana also receive important contributions from the Canton of Valais, including economic aid from the Loterie Romande and the Sports Fund. "Many thanks to Swiss-Ski, to the FIS, to RTS, the host broadcaster, to our loyal partners and sponsors, and also to the media."

Video: SkiActu

 

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana

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24 Jan

Lara Gut-Behrami shows how to do it on Mont Lachaux

The unbelievable Lara Gut-Behrami! The skier from Comano has experienced every possible emotion this weekend, before winning the Super-G this Sunday in Crans-Montana. Putting on a real demonstration, she didn’t leave any opportunity for her opponents, keeping Austria’s Tamara Tippler at bay by 0.93 seconds, and Federica Brignone by 1.02 seconds. Neverthless, the Italian still claimed her 6th podium place on the Haut-Plateau.

For Lara Gut-Behrami, revenge was sweet after a complicated start to the week in Valais for the skier from Ticino. She complained about the condition of the piste after the first training session. Last winter’s double downhill winner on the Mont Lachaux piste failed in her first downhill, finishing "only" in 16th place. She recovered well on Saturday, beaten only by an incredible Sofia Goggia, in spite of – in her words -  immense pain in her back and pelvis.

"Stiff as an old broom"

And the 29-year-old concludes her weekend in Switzerland in the best possible way, with an almost perfect race under sunny skies in Valais. She was able to enjoy a perfectly prepared slope, despite twenty centimetres of fresh snow overnight. "It was a simpler Super-G than we thought it would be, but I did make a few mistakes at the top, she declared in an interview with the RTS. The snow was easy to ski, as we weren’t on the downhill track. I was really expecting a faster and more complicated piste." 

Lara Gut-Behrami was also delighted that she wasn’t in too much pain : "This morning, I still felt as stiff as an old broom, but on skis, I don’t have any problem. Now it’s back again a bit, because the painkillers are not working as well. But it’s much better than yesterday (editor’s note: Saturday)". Thanks to this 28th win in her career (54th podium), the winner of the big Globe in 2016 takes the red leader’s bib in the discipline, and has done an excellent job, especially by beating Sofia Goggia, who missed the penultimate gate.  

Priska Nufer makes further progress

While Wendy Holdener and Jasmine Flury veered off the course, the other Swiss women had a rather good day, like Priska Nufer from Obwald. Finishing in fifth place, she achieved the best result of her career, which up until now was 7th place…just last Friday, and once again in Crans-Montana. Corinne Suter (8th) is now 2nd in the Super-G standings whereas Joana Hählen (10th) has reassured herself after a complicated beginning to the season. Michelle Gisin finished further behind.

 

Photos: Agence Zoom & Deprezphoto sa, cransmontana

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 1st Lara Gut/SUI
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 2nd Tamara Tippler/AUT
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3rd Federica Brignone/ITA 
 podium
 ... and the podium.

 

Vidéo: SkiActu

 

24 Jan

Frédéric Favre: "The canton actively supports the bid for the 2027 Worlds"

In recent years, State Councillor Frédéric Favre has enjoyed immersing himself in the fantastic atmosphere of the World Cup competitions in Crans-Montana, sharing the emotion of the fans and all those involved in the races. However as the Mont Lachaux "Classic" took place without spectators this time, this time the head of sport for the canton of Valais found himself excitedly watching the races on the Haut-Plateau at home on television.

"I was passionate watching the downhills. Although the results were a bit disappointing on Friday from a Swiss point of view, the response on Saturday was great", smiles Frédéric Favre, who also praised “the enormous commitment of the organisers and their collaborators", taking the example of the 170 people who got up in the middle of the night to prepare a piste after dozens of centimetres of fresh snow had fallen.  "This is an example of Crans-Montana’s enthusiasm for these races", continued the State Councillor.  

"Valais is capable of organising these World Championships "

"The Organising Committee, under its president Marius Robyr, faces and adapts to every situation enthusiastically. This is exactly what we need if we want to host the World Cup races, and especially the World Championships". Frederic Favre is convinced of the merits of Crans-Montana/Valais’ bid for the 2027 World Championships: "The canton of Valais is capable of organising this event. I’m not worried about that in the slightest. With these World Championships, Valais would benefit from the best advertising in the world".

So what role would the canton of Valais play in organising such an event? "Clearly, we will support the Organising Committee. On the one hand, it’s a question of making a financial contribution, which is the responsibility of the Council of State. On the other hand, it is also a question of promoting sustainability and sport infrastructure that is orientated towards the future". 

Political support is very important

The Valais law on sport, which came into force in the current parliamentary term, would allow cantonal participation of between 20% and 30% for projects such as the construction of a multifunctional finish area in the Barzettes district. "Analyses on the subject are underway", continues Frédéric Favre.

The State Councillor stresses that political support should not be underestimated in the race for the Worlds, as he has repeatedly noted in discussions with the representatives of international sports federations. "In order to help the Organising Committee, and as Minister for Sport, I was pleased to share our proactive support with FIS representatives ".

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Souvenirs, souvenirs: Frédéric Favre presents this magnificent bouquet to Wendy Holdener, who had just been crowned Alpine Combined World Champion in Åre in 2019.