The traditional annual inspection by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) took place in Crans-Montana on Saturday August 26. With three women's World Cup events programmed for this winter and the 2027 World Championships on the horizon, the visit takes on additional importance this year. It was an opportunity to examine the Nationale and Mont Lachaux pistes, which have to meet exacting standards, and also check the infrastructure for the finish area and the organisation team for the World Championships.
Peter Gerdol, director of the FIS Women's Alpine Ski World Cup, led the inspection. Representatives from the local organising committee were present, notably the president Marius Robyr, the Swiss-French television station RTS, the host broadcaster for the events, the CMA ski lift company and Swiss-Ski. Particular attention on the day was focused on a variety of additional safety measures that have been introduced in recent months on the Mont Lachaux piste, as well as positions for television cameras, the execution of various jumps on the piste, organisation of the start and finish sites, and hospitality and accommodation for the teams, which will increase significantly due to the additional presence of the slalom racers and their escorts.
There was a good cooperative spirit for the event, the aim being to once again organise high-quality races in Crans-Montana. Peter Gerdol, the FIS Women's Race Director, was satisfied: "The local organising committee, led by Marius Robyr, is once again on the right track with the preparations." He also welcomed the participation of Didier Défago, managing director of the World Championships, who, along with his deputy Daniel Bollinger, is actively working to ensure the many preparations for the World Championships continue to advance in all areas.
But before 2027, it's worth remembering that the 2023-2024 programme of races in Crans-Montana is packed. It will begin with two women's European Cup downhills on 10 and 11 February 2024. A week later, the traditional caravan for the Women's World Cup will be stopping off on the Haut-Plateau (16-18 February 2024), with not only a downhill and a super-G, but also a team combined event, a new event which has been added to the FIS calendar for the coming winter.
For the Crans-Montana organising committee and their president, Marius Robyr, it is a great honour to host the first women's World Cup event in this new discipline, which will be on the programme in future World Championships and Olympic Games. As a result, Valais will be welcoming not only the world's top speed specialists, but also the world's top female slalom racers. A few weeks beforehand, the first men’s competition of this type will take place at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbühel.
The way the event works is that two competitors from the same nation form a team. Each skier takes part in one of the two races, downhill or slalom, and their times are added together to form the rankings. The number of teams a nation can enter depends on its national quota of participants in the downhill. Around thirty teams are expected to be taking part in the competition in Crans-Montana. - Photos: DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana/Louis Coubés - Video: SkiActu
Photo caption of participants at the FIS 2023 inspection in Crans-Montana
From left, standing: Julien Baszanger (TV RTS), Aurélien Vallotton (RTS), Alice Dumas (RTS), Charlie Hofmann (RTS), Peter Gerdol (FIS), Stéphane Robyr (O.C. Crans-Montana), Marius Robyr (O.C.), Patrice Morisod (O.C.), Alberto Senigagliesi (FIS), Bertrand Cassignol (CMA), Hans Flatscher (Swiss-Ski), Didier Défago (O.C. WC Crans-Montana 2027) and Hugo Steinegger (O.C.). From left, kneeling: Osi Inglin (Swiss-Ski), Franz Hofer (Swiss-Ski), Jean-Philippe Vulliet (O.C.) and Hannes Hofer (Swiss-Ski).