6 May

Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger are honoured at the Valais Sports Awards

Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger have been celebrated once again. They were awarded the « Special Prize » by journalists at the Mérites sportifs valaisans awards ceremony in Savièse. After doing everything in their power to ensure the return of Alpine skiing races to Crans-Montana and ushering in a new era, the two Alpine skiing legends from the Haut-Plateau were honoured for almost two decades of dedication and incredible commitment in organising the Alpine Skiing World Cup races in Crans-Montana, which have become a classic on the women's circuit.

Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger, president and vice-president of the Organising Committee for World Cup races in Crans-Montana, handed over the reins after the final races in February. This determined duo also launched and successfully completed the resort's application to host the World Championships in 2027.

Photos: Etienne Bornet

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10 Mar

Versatility now goes hand in hand with consistency for Michelle Gisin, our ambassador

By claiming her second podium this winter in Åre, Michelle Gisin has proved – if any further proof was needed – that she is back on top form. It is now certain that she will continue to ski in all disciplines right to the end.

It's something we’ve come to expect this winter, but once again Michelle Gisin was smiling at the finish line of a World Cup slalom, this time in Åre. As well as claiming her second podium of the winter after Lienz, the skier from Engelberg confirmed her status as one of the world's best slalom specialists. Currently fourth in the discipline rankings, she has only finished outside the top 6 on three occasions in ten races this season.

The first course by Swiss coach Denis Wicki obviously suited her, but the second, staked out by Livio Magoni, could have cost her dearly. However this wasn’t the case, as although she let Mikaela Shiffrin - in her 'comeback'- streak ahead, and the great Croatian hope Zrinka Ljutić also got ahead of her, she managed to beat Germany's Lena Dürr and Sweden's Anna Swenn-Larsson by 0.01 and 0.02 respectively.

Brief but efficient training

"It's just so cool," she exclaimed. "There was also a bit of luck involved today because I don't have much of a margin over those chasing me, but it's quite incredible to be able to be so consistent. I'm really surprised by this consistency." It has to be said that last summer, Michelle Gisin had planned to put slaloms on hold. She didn’t train very much in the discipline, in all she ended up with three days in Ushuaïa, two in Diavolezza and a few runs in Levi before the start of the season."But I was lucky, especially in Ushuaïa, where we had great conditions," says the double Olympic combined champion. "And I just needed to do a few turns to get my feeling back."

There's now no question of drawing a line under this discipline which has given her so much (notably 9 of her 21 World Cup podium finishes). "I'm not going to give up slalom, that's for sure," she confirms."Obviously, it would probably be better to do just three disciplines, but I really don't know which to stop. Giant is my least favourite discipline at the moment, but I'm sure I'll be able to get back to my best level. Besides, it's the foundation, so you have to do it anyway. And my second worst discipline at the moment is downhill, but I love it and you have to do it for the super-G so...I'm not going to put anything aside, I'm too 'old' for that. Besides, I'd rather ski in a race than train during the winter."

"I managed to hang on in there when things weren’t going so well."

Michelle Gisin has made up her mind. She just has to hope that her versatility continues alongside her consistency.

"My season has been extremely positive so far," she continues."Last year, I managed to hang on in there when things weren't going so well, and that's paying off today. I'm very proud and happy.I fought hard, and I'm back in the top 10 overall (editor's note: 9th). And her injury in Cortina d'Ampezzo didn't affect her that much in the end."I didn't think I'd be able to come back so quickly, but I've worked hard for it, and my whole team has helped me in the process."

Without getting ahead of herself, the skier from Engelberg is already looking to the future, and is delighted to be continuing to evolve with the speed team, which she joined last summer. "Also there's a way of putting together a group that will focus a little more on the Giant. Jasmina (Suter) is truly a queen of the Giant, Priska (Nufer), Jasmine (Flury) and Corinne (Suter) are also capable of going fast in this discipline. They all know how to ski really well. " We haven't heard the last of Michelle Gisin's exploits, and that's excellent news.

Photos: Agence Zoom

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19 Feb

It was a great ski party! !

A big thank you to all those who contributed in any way to the success of the Audi FIS World Cup ski races 2023 in Crans-Montana, despite the postponement of the downhill on Saturday. Congratulations to you girls, you were fantastic!

(Advertising in French only)

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Video: SkiActu

 

18 Feb

A dream weekend at the end of an era

As Austria’s Stephanie Venier wins the Super-G on Sunday, the World Cup weekend in Crans-Montana came to a perfect close, in glorious weather once again.

The last dance was a most dignified one for Organising Committee president Marius Robyr and vice president Hugo Steinegger. It was another emotional day for the pair, so deserving of the races in Crans-Montana.

The organisers welcomed some 37,000 spectators to Crans-Montana over the three days of racing, including the Friday and Saturday evening ceremonies at the Ycoor ice rink, which were very well attended too. Once again, Valais proved that it really is a canton with a huge number of sports fans.

Lara Gut-Behrami, a superstar on home soil

Although her fatigue was visible as the races progressed, Lara Gut-Behrami was the top Swiss competitor in all three races. From a Swiss point of view, the highlight was the first downhill on Friday, when Lara Gut-Behrami took first place ahead of Jasmine Flury, for a phenomenal Swiss one-two finish.

It was an Italian win for Marta Bassino in Saturday's downhill,with Federica Brignone, who is always excellent in Crans-Montana, just behind her, followed by Lara Gut-Behrami in third place, by now clearly in the lead in the overall World Cup rankings.

Finally, on Sunday it was Stephanie Venier who put on the show, this time beating the Italian duo Federica Brignone and Marta Bassino.

Now it’s the men’s turn

For once, it's the men and not the women who will be coming to Crans-Montana in the 2024-2025 World Cup season, led by the talented Marco Odermatt. A downhill and a Giant are planned on the Nationale piste. We're already looking forward to the next festival of skiing in Crans-Montana!

 DEPREZ-DUBUIS photo / Video: SkiActu (only in French)

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18 Feb

Stephanie Venier beats an Italian duo in the Super-G

Austria's Stephanie Venier finished on the top step of the podium in the Super-G at Crans-Montana. She beat Italy's Federica Brignone and Marta Bassino by a narrow margin. Lara Gut-Behrami, the top Swiss, finished in 6th place.

It's (almost) the same story all over again. Italy's Federica Brignone and Marta Bassino once again finished on the podium in the Crans-Montana Super-G on Sunday. However they were relegated to 2nd and 3rd places, by 0.04 and 0.15 respectively, by Stephanie Venier.This was the Austrian's second win of the season, and the third of her career. The 30-year-old managed to find the key to the Mont Lachaux piste, which has really suffered with the weather over the last few days.

The Italians once again proved that they feel at home in Crans-Montana. Federica Brignone took second place on the podium for the second time in two days. In doing so, she consolidated her third place in the rankings for the discipline. Marta Bassino confirmed that she is at ease in Valais, after winning Saturday's downhill.

As for the Swiss, Lara Gut-Behrami gave the best performance, finishing in 6th place. Jasmina Suter, Michelle Gisin and Priska Nufer finished a little further down the rankings, in 21st, 22nd and 25th places. The other Swiss, including Noémie Kolly, were all eliminated.

DEPREZ-DUBUIS Photo / Video: SkiActu

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The Brignone family, united by skiing

One family that loves coming back to Crans-Montana year after year is the Brignone family. This weekend, Mum Maria-Rosa 'Ninna' Quario was in Crans-Montana to cheer on her daughter Federica, who finished on the podium twice, much to the delight of her brother – and coach – Davide.

Skiing has always been a family affair for the Brignone family, which has generations of champions in the family. Ninna finished on the World Cup podium fifteen times in the 1980s, before embarking on a career as a ski journalist. Davide skied in the European Cup, before becoming official coach for his older sister Federica, one of the greatest Italian skiers of all time.

Skiing is a passion that binds the family from the Aosta Valley together, and they enjoy meeting up on snowy slopes. Let’s meet the family.

 

Lara Gut-Behrami: "It was a very intense weekend".

Lara Gut-Behrami rounded off the races in Crans-Montana with a 6th place in the Super-G, and said she was happy that the weekend was over.

The Super-G was complicated for Lara Gut-Behrami. She couldn't find solutions on the Valais course, not least because of the very soft snow at the top of the Mont Lachaux piste. "I didn't interpret the snow very well. It was a little softer than I expected, and I should have been a bit more flexible on my skis", she added.

Despite her result falling short of her expectations in Sunday's Super-G, Lara Gut-Behrami felt it was a successful weekend overall in the three races, which included a 1st and 2nd place in the two downhill races. However she was a little relieved too that the weekend, and those three races, are now behind her . "It was a very intense weekend, it was very hard for everyone. I'll take the good results and the skiing, but I can't hide the fact that I'm relieved it's over."

Valuable points for the overall standings

Lara Gut-Behrami managed to secure the essential in Crans-Montana by scoring 200 points in three races, enough to extend her lead over Mikaela Shiffrin at the top of the overall World Cup standings, but for the moment it’s not on her mind. “The only thing I'm thinking about is skiing. I'm looking at what I did today and what I can improve for next time, as well as the next races.”

After this gruelling weekend, Lara Gut-Behrami is going to make the most of being at home for a few days to try and recover as much as possible. Her next races, two Super-Gs, will be at Val di Fassa, in a week's time.

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18 Feb

Immersion behind the scenes of the World Cup

During the Women's World Cupaces in Crans-Montana, a young Ski CValais athlete was able to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the White Circus.

Nolan Meyer, an U16 athlete from the Anzère Crans-Montana CRP, was able to explore the roles of the different people who work around the world's best athletes, From the preparation of the slope to the Swiss team's ski room, to one of Le Nouvelliste newspaper's sport journalist, relive Nolan's day on the Mont lachaux piste in pictures.

Video (only in French): 360DSM Sàrl/Etienne Bornet

 

18 Feb

World Cup Party: Oesch's die Dritten on fire in Crans-Montana

There was a phenomenal atmosphere for the Oesch's die Dritten concert in Crans-Montana on Saturday at the sold-out World Cup Party.

Almost 1,000 people came to enjoy the legendary Swiss-German group’s music, and their singer Mélanie’s yodelling, and they were treated to a wonderful show

Another musical treat, ‘Die Fetzig’n aus dem Zillertal’, the famous Austrian trio, where there to warm up the audience at the beginning of the evening.  

It was an emotional evening full of music that will go down as one of the highlights of the World Cup weekend in Crans-Montana.

Video: SkiActu

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17 Feb

The Italians out in full force, Lara Gut-Behrami on the podium

Marta Bassino skied a fine race to win the second downhill in Crans-Montana, in an exuberant atmosphere on Saturday. The Italian beat her compatriot Federica Brignone,andalso Lara Gut-Behrami, who finished on her 13th podium this winter.

The Swiss flags were out in force in Crans-Montana on Saturday, but the Italians were not to be outdone…and their flags were needed to celebrate an outstanding performance by the Italians on the Mont Lachaux piste. Marta Bassino dominated the second downhill in the Valais resort with a near-perfect run. Starting with the number 3 bib, the 27-year-old put her technical skills to good use in order to claim her first victory in the discipline.

Marta Bassino from Val d’Aosta finished 0.54 in front of her compatriot Federica Brignone, who despite starting with bib number 13, managed to add a new chapter to the story of her love affair with Crans-Montana by claiming her 8th podium finish in the resort. Since 2017, the 33-year-old has always finished on the podium here (with just one exception, in 2022). With this result, she also strengthens her third place in the overall World Cup rankings.

Lara Gut-Behrami is still in the lead in the overall classification, although she was tired on Saturday and showed a few flaws. She nevertheless claimed her 13th podium this winter, finishing 1.11 behind the winner, and she also takes the lead in the World Cup downhill rankings ahead of Sofia Goggia, who has been forced to end her season. The skier from Ticino could well walk away with four Globes at the end of the winter (!): the overall, downhill, Super-G and the Giant.

There were surprises from a few competitors on Saturday, including a fourth place for the astonishing Bosnian Elvedina Muzaferija, who just missed the podium by 0.11, sealing her first ever World Cup top 10 on her favourite piste, as well as Laura Pirovano, who ensured that three Italians finished in the top 5.

The day after her fantastic 2nd place, Jasmine Flury didn’t manage to repeat her feat. The world champion only managed 19th place this time. Stephanie Jenal (24th), Noémie Kolly (25th) and Delia Durrer (29th) finished further back. Priska Nufer (38th), Jasmina Suter (39th) and Michelle Gisin (40th) also lagged behind.

DEPREZ-DUBUIS photo / Videos: SkiActu
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2e. Federica Brignone ITA

3e. Lara Gut-Behrami SUI

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16 Feb

Support from the army remains essential

The Swiss Army's commitment to the World Cup and European Cup events in Crans-Montana has been unwavering since 2006.

This year, some 220 military personnel are once again working around the clock to set up the infrastructure and prepare and maintain the Mont-Lachaux piste.

Long-serving soldiers involved

In 2024, a battalion made up of long-serving soldiers was called up. Many of these soldiers have already been deployed over the past few weeks for Ski World Cup events in Adelboden and Wengen, as well as the WEF in Davos. Colonel Roger Haupt, cantonal chief of staff for the Valais Territorial Liaison, and Major Quentin Berthouzoz are responsible for deploying the troops.

Colonel Sébastien Neuhaus, Disaster Relief Commander of Intervention Battalion 204, is in charge in Crans-Montana itself, while Captain Ulrich Nyffeler is in charge of the company. The "Piste" division (120 soldiers) is led by First Lieutenant Curdin Berther.

The best possible reward

Working with the "highly motivated military" has as usual been excellent and problem-free, says Edgar Gillioz, who has been in charge of contact with the army for the Organising Committee since 2011.

The president of the Organising Committee, Marius Robyr, also emphasises the role played by the army in the races at Crans-Montana: "Their commitment and support is essential for us, and is very much appreciated.” In the first downhill on Friday, brilliant performances by Lara Gut-Behrami and Jasmine Flury were, from a local point of view, the best possible reward for the tremendous commitment of everyone involved.

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana
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16 Feb

The Gisins, a truly golden family

Skiing is a family affair for the Gisins. For once, Michelle, Dominique and Marc were all in Crans-Montana at the same time. It's not often that the trio are together in the same resort.
 
It was a rare opportunity to look at a few memories shared by the three siblings, all of whom have raced - and enjoyed success - in the World Cup.
 
Who is the most successful skier in the Gisin family? Everyone has their own opinion...but for our ambassador Michelle Gisin, Marc and Dominique have always been - and are still - her idols.

Video: SkiActu (only in French)

 

 

16 Feb

Swiss double in the Valais sunshine

There was Swiss success in the first race on the Mont Lachaux piste, as well as a great atmosphere. Lara Gut-Behrami came first, ahead of Jasmine Flury, who tied in second place with Austria’s Cornelia Hütter.

It was quite a spectacle in Crans-Montana on Friday! Lara Gut-Behrami put in a top-class performance on the Mont Lachaux piste in a fantastic atmosphere, thanks in particular to quite a few schoolchildren being present. In spring-like conditions, the skier from Comano in Ticino claimed her 44th World Cup win.

Despite the fact that the snow had softened slightly due to the warm temperatures, Lara Gut-Behrami managed a clean run, picking up a lot of speed thanks to daring trajectories, to finish 0.21 ahead of her teammate Jasmine Flury and Austria’s Cornelia Hütter, who tied in 2nd place. With this win, Lara Gut-Behrami extends her lead over Mikaela Shiffrin in the overall World Cup rankings. The American is now more than 100 points behind.

 A fine performance for Jasmine Flury

After her victory in the downhill at Val d’Isère at the start of the season, Jasmine Flury was looking for another sound result in the discipline. With this, the World Champion secured her fourth World Cup podium. Despite a slightly sluggish upper section, she made up for it on the lower section of the Mont Lachaux piste, to finish in a second place tie with Cornelia Hütter.

Priska Nufer took a nice 7th place, while the rest of the Swiss team finished a little further behind. Noémie Kolly finished in an excellent 24th place, ahead of Michelle Gisin (26th) and Delia Durrer (28th). Janine Schmitt finished 35th, followed by Stephanie Jenal (41st) and Jasmina Suter (43rd).

DEPREZ-DUBUIS photo

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16 Feb

Safety first

Due to the high temperatures, and in order to preserve the finish line for the weekend's downhill and super-G races - and above all to ensure the safety of the 49 athletes at the start of the first World Cup downhill in Crans-Montana - the jury, in agreement with the Organising Committee, has decided to record race times at the last split time.

This means in concrete terms, that there will be no pressure for the athletes in the last four gates. The spectacle still promises to be impressive, as the Mont Lachaux piste is in perfect condition this Friday morning.

Spectators will be able to follow the skiers all the way to the finish, and see them cross the 'virtual line', which is located in the middle of the final wall.

15 Feb

Ester Ledecká is back in Crans-Montana with a smile on her face

Ester Ledecká was injured last season, and she’s often been ill this winter, but she was back in Crans-Montana with a smile on her face last week in the European Cup. The Czech took 2nd place in the first downhill on the Mont Lachaux piste, and she was also the fastest in training for the World Cup downhills on Thursday this week.

The double Olympic snowboard Super-G and parallel giant champion (PyeongChang 2018) has had a turbulent relationship with Crans-Montana. However since her slow start in 2016, the skier from Liberec has done more than just come to terms with the Valais resort…she has four podium finishes in Crans-Montana to her name, including a win.

The versatile 28-year-old athlete particularly appreciates the Swiss public. She likes the fact that the Valais fans support all the athletes as they cross the Mont Lachaux finish line. We look forward to seeing you on Friday to applaud this great champion once again!

Vidéo: SkiActu

 

 

15 Feb

Ester Ledecká and Lara Gut-Behrami out in force in Crans-Montana

Ester Ledecká and Lara Gut-Behrami were the two fastest athletes in the second downhill training session in Crans-Montana on Thursday.

The level of competition went up a notch in the second downhill training session in Crans-Montana on Thursday. Still under predominantly sunny skies, and on a piste that held up perfectly despite high temperatures, the time trial (which was brought forward by half an hour) provided an opportunity for two skiers who have previously  won on the Mont Lachaux piste to gain confidence. The first was Ester Ledecká, who set the fastest time. The Czech star, who won here in 2022, is regaining her form and sensation after a curtailed winter. Her participation in the European Cup races in Crans-Montana last week may well have helped.

Behind Czech Ledeckà, Lara Gut-Behrami, three-time winner in Crans-Montana, showed her strength, finishing the fastest Swiss athlete once again. The World Cup leader continued to build on her momentum, even though a little end-of-season fatigue may slowly be setting in. Gut-Behrami took 2nd place, two tenths behind Ledecká, and Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel and American Jacqueline Wiles shared third place. Italy's Federica Brignone, who feels very much at home on in Crans-Montana, finished 5th. 

As for the Swiss, Priska Nufer (21st), Michelle Gisin (24th) and Jasmine Flury (25th) all finished in the top 30. It’s now time for the races in Crans-Montana. The first downhill is scheduled for Friday morning at 10.30 on the Mont Lachaux piste.

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14 Feb

Mont Lachaux piste holding up well in the sun

The first training session in the Crans-Montana World Cup downhill races went perfectly on Wednesday in sunny Valais.

Despite the warm temperatures, the Mont Lachaux piste held up well for the skiers who were there to test the piste, which was salted to ensure optimum conditions for all the athletes present.

Federica Brignone, Michelle Gisin, Romane Miradoli, Ilka Stuhec and Kira Weidle, the fastest skier of the day, all enjoyed themselves on the Mont Lachaux piste.

Vidéo SkiActu

 

14 Feb

First training session in the sunshine in Crans-Montana

The first training session for the Women's World Cup downhill races in Crans-Montana took place in glorious sunshine. Despite the very warm weather on Wednesday morning, the piste was in perfect condition for the skiers, who raced from top to bottom down the Mont Lachaux piste.

It was Germany's Kira Weidle, who has never really been that comfortable on the Haut-Plateau previously, who set the fastest time. She beat Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel and Italy's Federica Brignone by 0.09 and 0.19 hundredths respectively.

The top fifteen skiers finished in the same second. The best Swiss athlete was Lara Gut-Behrami, who took 9th place, 0.64 behind the race leader. Priska Nufer, who won the downhill title two years ago, was 14th. Jasmine Flury (18th), Delia Durrer (26th) and Jasmina Suter (27th) all finished in the top 30.

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13 Feb

Mont Lachaux piste ready for the first training sessions

After the European Cup races, it's time for the women's World Cup competitions this week in Crans-Montana. The first training session is set for Wednesday morning at 10.30 on the Mont Lachaux piste.

Since the end of the continental competitions, the organisers and the FIS have been working around the clock on the track in the Haut-Plateau resort to ensure that the snow surface is perfect for the world's top female skiers. Which is quite a challenge, given the high temperatures in Valais.

However the organising committee is resolutely confident, as the piste has already been excellently prepared in advance. Jean-Philippe Vulliet, race director, explains the procedures used to keep the piste in perfect condition.

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana  / Vidéo: SkiActu (only in French)
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11 Feb

Lara Gut-Behrami will be leading a strong Swiss squad

Nine Swiss have been selected for the two women’s downhill and Super-G races in Valais next weekend, including Lara Gut-Behrami and Michelle Gisin.

Lara Gut-Behrami will of course be the Swiss headliner in Crans-Montana next week. The athlete from Ticino will be one of the main favourites in the three races on the Mont Lachaux piste, and the leader of the overall World Cup standings will be looking to extend her lead over Mikaela Shiffrin (who will be absent from this year's races in Crans-Montana), having already won three times, in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Kronplatz and Soldeu. The Olympic Super-G champion has also won three times previously on this piste.

Lara Gut-Behrami isn’t the only Swiss representative aiming for a podium finish between Friday and Sunday in the two downhill and Super-G events on the programme. Jasmine Flury also has her sights set on the top rung, and the reigning downhill world champion has confirmed her position this winter with her win in Val d'Isère. Priska Nufer will be returning to the place of her 2022 victory - her only World Cup podium - when to everyone's surprise, she won the downhill.

Another Obwalden native will be delighted to see "her" public again. The event's ambassador, Michelle Gisin, will indeed be taking part, despite her fall a few weeks ago in Cortina d'Ampezzo. The double Olympic combined champion has just made an excellent 4th place comeback in the slalom in Soldeu this Sunday, just 0.05 away from the podium. She will be testing herself during the training sessions scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday to see if she feels ready to compete in the races in Crans-Montana. The same goes for Noémie Kolly, who is more confident in the Super-G than the downhill this winter.

As for Nidwalden’s Delia Durrer, she will be looking to build on her third-place finish in Sunday’s second European Cup downhill on the Mont Lachaux piste. She has yet to score any points in the World Cup in Valais. Stephanie Jenal, Jasmina Suter and Janine Schmitt complete the strong Swiss contingent, which will be missing Corinne Suter, Joana Hählen and Malorie Blanc. The Valais local was due to make her World Cup debut in front of her home crowd, but unfortunately suffered an injury in the European Cup on Sunday.

Photos: Agence Zoom
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