1 Mar

A big thank you to all of you!

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26 Feb

Crans-Montana/Valais: heading towards the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships with Swiss-Ski

After announcing Crans-Montana/Valais would be a candidate for the FIS 2025 Alpine Skiing World Championships at the 1987 World Championship 30 year jubilee evening, the public announcement  took place on Sunday afternoon, at the arrival stadium of the World Cup races in Crans-Montana. The show was full of atmosphere, with paragliders and lots of children from local ski clubs, and in the middle of them all, Urs Lehmann, Swiss-Ski President, and Marius Robyr, president of the Organising Committee for the World Cup races in Crans-Montana. With kind words, the two heads of sport together declared the launch of the « 2025 World Ski Championships Challenge » and their intent to succed, before a cloud of balloons dotted the blue skies with their many different colours. The letter of intent has to be delivered to the FIS before 1st May 2019. The FIS Council will reveal the name of the selected resort at an FIS conference in 2020.

 DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana/Agence Zoom

26 Feb

First Alpin Combined for Shiffrin, crystal globe for Stuhec

Mikaela Shiffrin won the 2nd combined race in Crans-Montana, beating the Italian Federica Brignone by 0''70, and the Slovenenian Ilka Stuhec, who takes the globe for the discipline, by 0''85. The best Swiss result belonged to world champion Wendy Holdener, who had to settle for 6th place.

A brilliant seventh at the end of the Super-G, only 1''30 behind Sofia Goggia, it was a walk in the park for the best Slalom skier in the world, and there weren’t many challengers between the poles. Apart from Federica Brignone, with her surprising second place in the slalom leg, she left Wendy Holdener 0''81 behind.

Shiffrin sets the record straight

For her second combined, after her eighth place in Soldeu a year ago, Mikaela Shiffrin showed that she was indeed a world class skier by gaining momentum all weekend. Although awkward with her words on Friday at the first combined,  she was 13th on Saturday in the Super-G, and the triple world slalom champion proved that she learns quickly. Skiing on soft snow due to the bright Valais sunshine, Mikaela Shiffrin mastered the piste from beginning to end. As is often the case, it was at the end of the course that the American marked the difference.

This 29th World Cup victory also means that the American keeps Ilka Stuhec at a distance, as if Shiffrin hadn’t taken part in this combined, she would have allowed the Slovenian to eat away at the points between them. However today, Shiffrin took back a 298 point lead overall in the World Cup. This means that even if the Slovenian performs well in the two speed events in Jeongseon, South Korea next weekend, she will still be almost a hundred points behind the youngster from Vail. «This race was important for the overall rankings», said the day’s winner. « I can now go back to the States with a certain peace of mind.»

The globe for Ilka Stuhec

As for the Swiss, Wendy Holdener from Schwyz managed to shave off some of the time difference in the slalom, but she couldn’t manage better than 6th place, 1''54 behind Shiffrin. Michelle Gisin from Obwalden took 11th place. «I didn’t ski well in the morning. I had no strength in my legs.I’ve still been a bit ill the past few days and I’ve lost a few kilos. I tried to ski a good slalom, but it was clear that I had almost no chance of getting back into the top 5. I gained a few points, and that’s good. If I could have finished the combined on Friday, I might have managed to be a bit more stable today, and managed a better result. But it’s not that great to ski on snow this soft, where you have to do everything yourself. »

Two other Swiss competitors gained points, Rahel Kopp finished 16th and Jasmina Suter 19th.

The globe for this speciality went to Ilka Stuhec. The Slovenian, in 3rd place in this third and final combined, takes home her first crystal trophy. At the end of the three races, she was twenty points ahead of Federica Brignone (240 to 220 pts). She might have to make some extra space on the mantlepiece, as she has a strong chance of taking the downhill and the Super-G too. 

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana/Agence Zoom

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25 Feb

Crans-Montana/Valais hopes to host the FIS Ski World Championships 2025

Eight years after the St-Moritz World Championships, Switzerland could once again host the FSI Ski World Championships. Crans-Montana/Valais is the Swiss candidate for the 2025 Worlds, with the firm support of Swiss-Ski.

38 years after the most prolific World Championships in the history of Swiss skiing, Crans-Montana hopes it will be able to welcome the best skiers in the world on the Nationale and Mont Lachaux pistes. Swiss-Ski president Urs Lehmann and Marius Robyr president of the O.C. for World Cup Races have officially launched Crans-Montana/Valais as candidate.

The letter of intent has to be delivered to the FIS before 1st May 2019. Crans-Montana/Valais is supported by the canton, the local councils and Swiss-Ski. Urs Lehmann is also part of the candidature committee which aims to involve the Federation in the project.

Once Crans-Montana’s candidature is officially registered with the FIS, Crans-Montana/Valais will be able to prepare its dossier. The name of the town that will host the 2025 Worlds will be revealed in 2020 at an FIS congress.

Crans-Montana/Valais is expecting competition from France (Courchevel-Méribel) or Austria (Saalbach-Hinterglemm). In the event that the Worlds event is awarded to the resort, the arrival stadium will be completely redesigned with a project that includes a permanent arena where other events can also be held.

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana

MR & Cie
Ready for the Crans-Montana/Valais candidacy bid for the FIS 2025 World Championships, from left: Martial Kamerzin, Association des Communes de Crans-Montana President/Urs Lehmann, Swiss-Ski President/Marius Robyr, Crans-Montana World Cup races Organising Committee President and Nicolas Féraud,  Crans-Montana Commune President.

 

25 Feb

Big ski party for Ilka, Elena, Stephanie, Wendy and Luca at the ice rink Ycoor

The Super-G prize-giving and draw for starting numbers for the Alpine Combined on Sunday (26.02) and the celebration for the Alpine Combined World Champion Luca Aerni, fired up the Place Montana in Ycoor. An enthusiastic crowd meant that the evening's celebration of skiing was once again a great one!  

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana

Ycoor 25
25 Feb

Favourite Ilka Stuhec celebrates her sixth win of the season

In the absence of the injured triple winner this season Lara Gut, Ilka Stuhec is celebrating her fifth win in the Super-G this Winter, well ahead of the runners up. The Slovenian World Downhill Champion triumphed in a great atmosphere and in bright sunny conditions, leaving Elena Curtoni (ITA) and Stephanie Venier (AUT) behind, by 0.50 and 1.09 seconds respectively. It is only the third podium place in her career for the 26 year old Italian, after two third places in 2016 (St. Moritz Downhill and Val d’Isère Super-G). Stephanie Venier, the 23 year old Downhill Silver Medal winner, has only previously finished on a World Cup podium once in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Tina Weirather from Lichtenstein just missed a podium place, coming in 1.26 seconds behind Stuhec, followed in 5th place by Friday’s Alpine Combined winner, Federica Brignone. Tina’s 4th place meant that she was able to take her training partner Lara Gut’s place in the lead for the discipline. She is 6 points ahead of the Swiss athlete, and 16 points ahead of Stuhec. The end of season promises some suspense in the last two races of the season in South Korea and Aspen.

With another amazing performance, Stuhec has increased her prize money from 45,000 to 65,000 Francs, and she edges closer to the top of the overall World Cup rankings. She is now 256 points behind the leader Mikaela Shiffrin, who despite the advantageous number 2 start bib, had to settle for 13th place today.  Despite withdrawing from the race the day before, she didn’t have too many difficulties getting to the finish line. This wasn’t the case for Victoria Rebensburg, Sofia Goggia and Lindsey Vonn, and around a third of the 61 participants. Athletes with higher start numbers had it a bit tougher on the Mont Lachaux piste, which proved to be not only very selective, but also in spring-like, “soft” condition today . Tiffany Gauthier (FRA/No. 38) and Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN/42) however finished in 10th and 12th places respectively, showing that the task was still achievable.

Amongst those who were eliminated, two Swiss, Fabienne Suter and Jasmine Flury, who would have placed in the Top 10 right until the final seconds. Corinne Suter was the highest placed Swiss competitor, in 14th place.

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana/Agence Zoom

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24 Feb

Great atmosphere for the ceremonies in the centre of Crans-Montana

On Friday, the first of two prize-giving ceremonies and the draw for starting numbers for the World Cup events took place at the Place Montana, on the platform at the new Ycoor ice rink . The atmosphere was great at the prize-giving for Friday's Alpine Combined winners, and the draw for starting numbers for the Super-G on Saturday 25 February (10.30).

Interviews with various athletes – for example, Maria Walliser-Anesini, double World Champion in ’87 in Crans-Montana – were greeted positively by the large crowd. The festivities at the Ice Rink on Saturday 25th will start at 17h30 with a welcome and celebration in honour of Luca Aerni,  Alpine Combined World Champion. Come and join us!

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana

24 Feb

Federica Brignone in the lead, Wendy Holdener at the foot of the podium

Federica Brignone took the first Combined in Crans-Montana. The Italian outperformed Ilka Stuhec by 1''01 and the Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser by 1''16.

Second in the Super-G, the Italian from the Aosta Valley, dominated the slalom to overtake Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec , making up time in order to take first place in the discipline. The Italian lost only 0''45 to Wendy Holdener between the gates.  Wendy Holdener ends up disappointed, in a far-from-easy fourth place after the Super-G. The World Champion from Schwyz, who was much too timid, left dreams of the podium behind her during the speed event: "I lost too much time in the Super-G. I was too far behind to hope for a comeback in the slalom. That’s the way it goes!”

The start of the course at 10.30 was difficult. Three girls started, and not one of them managed to complete more than ten seconds of the race on the very selective Mont Lachaux piste. Denise Feierabend even hurt herself when she fell, and her season may well be over now. The departure gate was therefore lowered, and Ilka Stuhec and Tessa Worley were allowed to start again. Michelle Gisin from Obwalden, who was runner-up to Wendy Holdener in St-Moritz, also wasn’t able to finish her race. "The weather wasn’t great”, she said. “There was fog in the morning, then rain, then snow and finally sunshine. The piste was soft. I skied too direct, and I lost it, it’s a shame. But I really hope that Denise (ed: Feierabend) is OK."

The youngest of the Gisin family didn’t want to blame the course or the piste, observations and course conditions that the Americans Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn had no hesitation in criticizing when they withdrew from the race. But as those who are absent are always wrong, Federica Brignone made the most of the situation to claim her fourth World Cup victory, her first in the Combined. Winner of the Giant in Kronplatz in January, the Italian from the Aosta Valley couldn’t believe it at the finish line: “To be honest, I managed a good Super-G, but I didn’t think I’d end up in the lead like this. It looks like I’m back in the Combined ranking, I didn’t even know! “ World Junior Combined Champion in 2009, Federica Brignone held her own, managing to distance Ilka Stuhec on a slope which was undoubtedly too steep for the Slovenian. But thanks to her second place, the athlete from the Maribor Club, takes third place overall, and strengthens her position as leader in the Combined with 180 points out of a possible 200. Suffice to say that Sunday’s Combined will be decisive in determining the first place.

Photos: DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana/Agence Zoom

Brignone2 Stuhec Kirchgasser3
1st Federica Brignone ITA 2nd Ilka Stuhec SLO

3rd Michaela Kirchgasser  AUT

Podium Ambiance
   

 

23 Feb

A downhill run with LED torches and a joyful ski festival for the opening of the World Cup races in Crans-Montana

A downhill run with joyful and coloured LED torches, for the young and not so young, from Chetzeron to Crans, followed by a joyous ski festival on the parking lot of Crans-Cry d'Er/Bar Zerodix provided a great start to the FIS Ladies World Cup races which will take place 13 to 15 February in Crans-Montana.

DEPREZphoto SA, Crans-Montana

21 Feb

No PC-7 TEAM Air Show in Crans-Montana

The Swiss Army PC-7 TEAM will not be able to perform at the three Ladies World Cup events programmed this weekend, 24 to 26 February (Alpine Combined on Friday and Sunday, Super-G on Saturday), in Crans-Montana. The decision  was made by the Minister of Defence, Guy Parmelin, on Tuesday, following an incident last Friday in the Grisons. During a demonstration at the St.Moritz World Championships, one of the PC-TEAM aircraft hit and sectioned a television cable, which had a floating camera attached. The camera crashed to the ground, thankfully without injuring anyone. An inquest is underway.

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