7 Sep

"Kick-off" for the 2020 Women’s World Cup and European Cup races in Crans-Montana

Before the launch of the winter season, the FIS International Ski Federation carries out an annual inspection of every site that organises World Cup races. For the 2020 races in Crans-Montana, this took place on Saturday 7 September.

On the programme for this 2020 edition in the Haut-Plateau region, Women’s European Cup races on 15 and 16 February (two Downhills, preceeded by two training sessions on 13/14.02) and the Women’s World Cup on Saturday 22 February (Downhill) and Sunday 23 (Alpine Combined with Super G and Slalom) as well as two Downhill training sessions on 20 and 21.02.

The inspection was led by the duo (title photo from right) Peter Gerdol, new FIS chief race director  for the Women’s World Cup, and Marius Robyr, president of the Crans-Montana Organisation Committee. They were joined by their closest collaborators, and representatives from the RTS (Télévision Suisse Romande), official broadcasters for the Crans-Montana World Cup and Swiss-Ski.

Particular attention was paid to the Mont Lachaux piste and its key sections, as well as to the position of TV cameras and organisation of the departure and finish zones. Other important points were also addressed, such as piste preparation, the number of machines on site 24h/24, the emergency services, demarcation of "Spectator" zones, the Media service, team accommodation, as well as the draws for bibs and the public prizegiving. The European Cup races were also on the agenda, with the presence of the new FIS Women’s coordinator, Jordi Pujol. The close working relationship between all participants was evident throughout an intense morning’s work, in view of this extremely attractive annual Women’s Classic.

Photo of the group on the lower part of the Mont Lachaux Piste, from left: Dave Léchenne (RTS, Swiss French TV),  Jordi Pujol (FIS), Jean-Philippe Vulliet (FIS), Julien Baszanger (RTS), Marius Robyr (President of the OC Crans-Montana), Peter Gerdol (FIS), Markus Murmann (OC), Sophie Genoud (OC), Franz Hofer (Swiss-Ski), Hannes Hofer (Swiss-Ski), Yannick Krijnen (RTS) and Coralie Perrottet (RTS).

DEPREZphoto, cransmontana

1

2

3

4

 

 

29 Aug

Another major step forwards : submission of the candidature dossier for the World Championships Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 to the FIS

It’s an important day for Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger: the director and vice-director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid to organise the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2025 have submitted the candidature dossier to the FIS International Ski Federation within the required time frame.  In this « Bid Book », which consists of 20 subjects, the FIS have asked a huge amount of mostly very detailed questions. These include questions regarding support for the World Championships that is being bid for, the organisation structure, budget, accommodation, transport, media, promotion, accreditation, sustainable development and ceremonies, as well as the vast subject of the pistes, the finish stadium, ski lifts, artificial snow making and race infrastructure.

Thanks to the experts who played a part in compiling it, a 180 page dossier, including 10 A3 plans, was put together. The accompanying letters of support from the Confederation, the canton of Valais, the Association of Communes of Crans-Montana ACCM, the CMA cable car company, the Association of Hoteliers of Crans-Montana are also extremely important. This dossier has been submitted to the FIS, and will now be studied in detail by the FIS. A site inspection by FIS experts will also take place before winter. If this and the dossier, with any further additions or changes, receive their support, the candidature will be presented to the FIS council.

The election, following a presentation of the candidates, will take place on 20 May 2020, at the FIS congress. The competition Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 is up against is stiff, as it will be competing against great candidates such as Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Austria and Garmisch-Partenkirchen/Germany. Marius Robyr is in fighting spirit : « The Crans-Montana/Valais bid is closely linked to Swiss-Ski, and has strong support from the political and tourist world. We are presenting an interesting concept, orientated towards the future, with a new multi-functional finish stadium and significant enhancement of the « Barzettes » site, including a new cable car installation (and also expansion of the Violettes car park) and construction of a hotel. The various necessities required by the FIS for organising such a meeting have of course been integrated in the planning.

The aim is not only to organise the World Championships in the heart of the Alps with infrastructure designed for durability, but also to motivate young people to take part in snow sports, and to mobilize all political, economic and touristic stakeholders to work together on a project which promises to be strong and meaningful, and which will convey healthy values and images of the resort.

Passion and Emotion are key words for the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Crans-Montana/Valais 2025.

1

4 Jun

The 2025 Alpine World Ski Championships Crans-Montana/Valais bid enters the concrete phase of the process

The first information session for candidates, in all disciplines, for the organisation of the 2025 World Championships took place recently at the scheduled International Ski Federation meeting in Dubrovnik-Cavtat/CRO. In Alpine skiing, the candidates already disclosed to the general public are Garmisch-Partenkirchen/GER, Saalbach-Hinterglemm/AUT and Crans-Montana/Valais. The latter’s  Bid Committee was represented by Dr. Urs Lehmann, Swiss-Ski president, and by the two executive officials, Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger (photo at top of article).

Each Bid Committee has received an 80 page questionnaire from the FIS, addressing some 20 topics such as, for example, financial support for the bid, infrastructure on site, accommodation capacity, transport, marketing, TV/Media operations, human resources, security and sustainable development. The deadline to submit this very detailed document to the FIS is 1st September 2019. After examining it, a review board from the FIS will visit the candidates, who will have the whole winter to make any improvements they might wish to make to their dossier. Then on 20 May next year, the FIS committee will elect the host site for the 2025 World Championships at the FIS congress (17-23 May 2020) held in Pattaya, Thailand.

In order to process the questionnaire, the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 Bid Committee has called upon a range of experts. A first meeting with them, led by Marius Robyr, managing director of the bid committee, took place in the finish stadium. The bid for this great « Crans-Montana/Valais World Ski Championships » challenge has now entered the concrete phase of the process.

Video (in french only): Johan Tachet, SkiActu

 

7 May

A men’s night slalom exhibition in addition to the 2020 World Cup and European Cup races in Crans-Montana

Next winter, the women’s World Cup races in Crans-Montana, which include a Downhill (22 February) and an Alpine Combined (23.02), as well as two Ladies’ European Cup Downhills on 15 and 16 February, will be preceded by a rendez-vous with the men. On Wednesday 15 January 2020, between two Men’s World Cup races taking place in the Bernese Oberland, in Adelboden and Wengen, the Organisation Committee for the FIS Alpine Ski races in Crans-Montana will be organising two heats of a night slalom exhibition, in close collaboration with the CMA Ski Lift Company and Swiss-Ski.

25 of the best national and international slalom athletes will be invited to take part in this race, which will take place on the spectacular Mont Lachaux/Nationale slalom piste. The prize money will be 40,000 Swiss francs. Training sessions are planned for the day before the race that is planned for Wednesday 15 February. The organisers aim to offer ski fans a third major alpine competition in addition to the annual FIS World Cup and European Cup races. This slalom exhibition is also a full-scale test for night races, in view of the World Championships that Crans-Montana/Valais are aiming to host. It is worth noting that the first time this race was held in the Haut-Plateau region was on this same piste on 16 January 2019.

DEPREZphoto, cransmontana

1

An impressive podium for the first night slalom exhibition held in Crans-Montana in 2019 : 1st Clément Noël (FRA), 2nd Dave Ryding (GBR), 3rd Julien Lizeroux (FRA), 4th Andre Myhrer (SWE), 5th Marc Rochat (SWI).

 

 

1 May

FIS 2025 World Championships: Crans-Montana/Valais, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Saalbach-Hinterglemm are the three candidates

The deadline for bids for the organisation of the 2025 Ski World Championships to reach the FIS International Ski Federation was yesterday at midnight. Crans-Montana/Valais, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) and Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria) are the three well-known resorts in the running. One of them will follow on from Cortina d’Ampezzo 2021 and Courchevel-Méribel 2023.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen has already organised the prestigious World Championships twice before (1978 and 2011), while Crans-Montana (1987) and Saalbach-Hinterglemm (1991) have both organised the competition once. Marius Robyr, Managing Director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid, insists on the fact that Switzerland is one of the Alpine countries with some of the richest traditions, and reminds us that Crans-Montana has confirmed its position and made a name for itself thanks to the highly successful organisation of many races at all levels.  

« Regardless of the fact that when attributing the World Championships there are indeed political elements, and a rotation of countries and continents must be taken into consideration, Crans-Montana will be doing everything in its power to obtain this great event again, after the  inspiring and unforgettable 1987 World Championships. This is with the support of Swiss-Ski, the Confederation, the canton of Valais, the Association des Communes ACCM and the CMA Ski Lift Company », comments the dynamic brigadier from Chermignon, not forgetting to mention the bid slogan: On the way to the World Ski Championships, EVERYONE on board !  

Next year, the FIS council will announce the hosts of the 48th Alpine Ski Worlds at the FIS Congress (17-23 May) in Pattaya, Thailand. On 21 May at around 18.00 (local time), the President of the FIS, Gian Franco Kasper, will utter the crucial words: ‘and the winner is…’

Lead
 

 

11 Apr

Top info: Oesch’s die Dritten will be back in Crans-Montana for the 2020 World Cup !

Folk music fans already have something to look forward to: the president of the Organisation Committee, Marius Robyr, and vice-president Hugo Steinegger, have just booked the most famous Swiss folk music group, Oesch’s die Dritten, again for the third edition of the « World Cup Party » which will take place on Saturday 22 February 2020 at Le Régent tennis centre in Crans-Montana (Photo with the Oesch’s taken in Champéry, Mike and Urs are missing).

These lovely musicians from the Bernese Oberland have been touring all over Switzerland this spring (16 February - 14 April). Their fantastic « Globetrotter » musical programme was a phenomenal success, and they were playing to packed venues every evening. Melanie Oesch : « The Globetrotter tour offered us complete musical freedom. We like to include our own stories and personal experiences in our concerts so that we can share them with our audience ».

If we ask Oesch’s fans what makes this folk music group so special and why they love them so much, they reply that it’s not just their individuality, diversity and their incomparable sound, but also their family spirit and a sense of great friendship, as well as their humour on stage.    

The Oesch’s are already really looking forward to their concert on 22 February 2020 in Crans-Montana. Melanie Oesch : « We’re huge ski fans and being able to perform as part of the Ladies’ World Cup races is something very special for us. Also having the opportunity to ski down the superb Mont Lachaux piste on Sunday 23 with Marius Robyr just before the start of the Super-G, like we did two years ago, is a unique and unforgettable experience. As for the concert, believe me, we will be giving our all !».

Hugo Steinegger, manager of the « World Cup Party » strongly advises you to mark the date 4 November 2019 inred on your calendar, as this is the day that ticket sales will commence. You can collect your tickets from Crans-Montana Tourism, or purchase directly online on our website.

A magnificent evening is on the cards, in a hall that’s guaranteed to be packed !

Discover through the link below some excerpts from their "Globetrotter" program:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVWeA2QNgvY

 

Hugo et Oesch's

3

1

2

 

8 Apr

Crans-Montana/Valais is now officially a candidate for the 2025 Ski World Championships

On Tuesday afternoon, a delegation of Swiss-Ski, Crans-Montana and Valais submitted the Valais resort’s bid for the 2025 World Championships at the headquarters of the International Ski Federation (FIS) in Oberhofen.

By submitting the entry fee, Swiss-Ski definitively validated the bid for the 2025 Alpine Ski World Championships, with Crans-Montana/Valais as organisers. The procedure was sealed by an agreement to sponsor 200 days of training in the Haut-Plateau region for smaller nations during the 2019/20 season, and also by presenting letters of support and backing from the Confederation, the canton of Valais, the Association des Communes de Crans-Montana ACCM and the CMA Crans-Montana Ski Lift Company.

Alongside Frédéric Favre, Counsellor of the State of Valais, in the Bernese Oberland were Matthias Remund, Director of the Federal Office of Sports, representing the Confederation and Yves-Roger Rey, Secretary-General of the ACCM. Swiss-Ski, Crans-Montana’s partner, was represented by Dr. Urs Lehmann, President, and Markus Wolf, CEO.

"Switzerland is an Alpine country that has some of the richest traditions, and we are fighting to attract the World Championships here again in 2025", declared Dr. Urs Lehmann, Vice-President of the Bid Committee, whose Managing Director Marius Robyr and Deputy Managing Director Hugo Steinegger, were also present. As for the FIS, the President Gian Franco Kasper and the Secretary General Sarah Lewis were delighted to welcome the delegation, and validated the application.

The authors of the Valais bid now have three months to return a questionnaire to the FIS  that covers over 20 topics. In autumn, a FIS evaluation committee will examine and check the information on site in Crans-Montana. Then just a few months will remain for Marius Robyr and his team to clarify any outstanding questions. Finally, at the begininning of 2020, a voting recommendation will be sent by the committee to the decision-making body, the FIS Council, which is made up of 17 members.

"We’ve acquired an excellent reputation"

Obtaining the World Championships for Crans-Montana in 2025 – just eight years after the last edition in Switzerland, in Saint-Moritz – is a major challenge. The 48th Alpine Ski Worlds will be awarded during the FIS congress in Pattaya, Thailand, at the end of May 2020. The other candidate announced today is Saalbach-Hinterglemm. It is the second time that this candidature, by the resort in the Salzburg region, is in the running, having lost to Courchevel-Méribel/France in the competition for the 2023 World Championships. Like Crans-Montana, which organised an incredible celebration of Swiss skiing for the 1987 Worlds, Saalbach-Hinterglemm hosted a memorable event in 1991. It is also worth noting that the last Alpine Ski World Championships to take place in Austria was in 2013, in Schladming.

« Regarding the attribution, of course there is a political component », explains Dr. Urs Lehmann. « Alternating countries and continents has to be taken into consideration. » However Marius Robyr, Managing Director, remains optimistic : « We’ve acquired an excellent reputation with the FIS, and we are doing everything in our power to organise this big event. If it doesn’t happen in 2025, we’ll aim for 2027.»

The Valaisan can draw on his resorts’ vast experience, from organising the World Cup and European Cup races, to the excellent organisation for the finals of the European Cup (2009) and the Junior World Championships (2011). The Nationale and Mont Lachaux pistes have been redesigned in recent years, and certified to host these races. Yet to be finalised is the creation of the finish stadium. - Photos: SkiActu/Keystone-sda

The bid slogan:
On the way to the World Ski Championships, EVERYONE on board !  

Lead
From the left: Yves-Roger Rey, Secretary-General of the ACCM, Matthias Remund, Director of the Federal Office of Ssports, Frédréric Favre, Counsellor of the State of Valais, Gian Fanco Kasper, President FIS, Sarah Lewis, Secretary-General FIS, Dr. Urs Lehmann, President Swiss-Ski, Markus Wolf, CEO Swiss-Ski, Marius Robyr, bid's Managing Director, and Hugo Steinegger, Deputy Managing Director.

 

Video (in French only): Johan Tachet, SkiActu

 

16 Mar

Wonderful races in Crans-Montana despite timing problems

 

Almost 25,000 spectators were present for the Ladies’ World Cup Downhill and Combined in Crans-Montana on 23 and 24 February 2019. Despite a great success in sporting terms, the competitions were marred by issues with the Swiss Timing timing system that were totally beyond the control of the organisers.

Four days after the World Championships in Åre, the world’s best female skiers met in Crans-Montana. The Haut-Plateau resort, which has now established itself as a classic on the women’s World Cup circuit, organised a Downhill and Combined.

In blazing sunshine, 13,000 spectators gathered at the foot of the magnificently prepared Mont Lachaux piste on Saturday in order to watch a Downhill race in Crans-Montana for the first time since 2014. Just like the training sessions beforehand, Olympic champion Sofia Goggia dominated the competition. Whilst White Circus athletes and followers may have believed that a low starting number was necessary in order to win, the Italian proved the contrary, sporting race number 13. After a controlled downhill from start to finish, the transalpine skier outperformed Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer by half a second, and Switzerland’ s Corinne Suter, who enjoyed a career-first World Cup podium finish,  after her two medals in the Worlds in Åre.

A huge connection problem in the Downhill

However the results of the Downhill were completely overshadowed by the many timing problems experienced  by Swiss Timing  which were totally beyond the control of the organisers, and which marred the competition. Firstly, the race had to be stopped several times to retrieve the time of several Swiss athletes. In fact the clock didn’t stop for Joana Hählen, Lara Gut-Behrami, Jasmine Flury and Priska Nufer as they crossed the finish line. Specifically, the A cell, which should have recorded the athletes’ times, did not trigger. The B cell, which replaces the A in the event of any issues, didn’t work either. A connection problem between the infrastructure installed at the finish line and the timing room was the source of the problems encountered by Swiss Timing, who were in charge of the timing on site, during the race.

In this situation, manual timing is used. Therefore Joana Hählen was placed 2nd, and Nicole Schmidhofer and Lara Gut-Behrami saw their 3rd and 4th places inversed.

Official results revised 72 hours after the race

While the public were celebrating Sofia Goggia, Joana Hählen and Lara Gut-Behrami at the official ceremony, which took place at the Ycoor Ice Rink, noone imagined that a new twist would arise.  In fact, 72 hours (!) after the race, the FIS announced a new official leaderboard, after another calculation of manual times which, after analysis, it was concluded had been registered incorrectly.

The 13 hundredths correction had been deducted from the skiers’ manual times instead of being added to their times. Therefore Swiss Timing recalculated all of the times using the new methodology, and confirmed the new results. Four members of the FIS working group checked these times. Joana Hählen and Lara Gut-Behrami, who were moved down to 4th and 6th  places, relinquished their podium places to Sofia Goggia, Nicole Schmidhofer and Corinne Suter. 

Investigations by the FIS and Swiss Timing revealed why the timing cell at the finish line wasn’t triggered when four Swiss skiers passed it. It was due to an adjustment problem with the cell, which had been set too high. After two training sessions, the snow level had dropped due to all the skiers compacting the snow, and also due to the snow melting  in the high temperatures on the Haut-Plateau at the time.

The FIS apologised to those in charge of the races in Crans-Montana for all of these inconveniences, which had lasted several days, events which were totally beyond the control of the organisers.

A positive result for sport and audiences after a record Combined race

Neverthless, the outcome for sport for the weekend was exceptional. The day after a wonderful party, the only ladies’ Combined of the season attracted 11,800 spectators to the foot of the Mont Lachaux piste. For the third year in a row, Italy’s Federica Brignone, who feels totally at home in Crans-Montana, took the race which crowned her the most versatile skier on the circuit. The Val d'Aosta skier beat Canada’s Roni Remme and Wendy Holdener from Schwyz after a slalom battle on the final wall of the Mont Lachaux piste, which perfectly survived the onslaught, despite the high temperatures. After the race, once the markers were removed, you couldn’t in fact even see where the skiers had passed.

Overall, 31,400 spectators attended the races, ceremonies and World Cup Party during this crazy weekend in Crans-Montana.  Rendez-vous on 22 and 23 February 2020 in the Valais resort for a women’s Downhill and Super-G.  - Johan Tachet, Ski Actu/Translation: Sarah Dunn.

DEPREZphoto, cransmontana

1

24 Feb

A hat-trick for Federica Brignone

Federica Brignone has, for the third year in a row, won the Crans-Montana Combined. She beat the Canadian Roni Remme and Swiss Wendy Holdener from Schwyz.

Federica Brignone feels at home in Crans-Montana. After her successes in 2017 and 2018, it was the Val d’Aosta skier’s third consecutive win in a Combined in Crans-Montana in as many years. The Italian beat the astonishing Canadian Roni Remme, who finished with the first podium place in her career, 38 hundredths behind the winner. "For me, Crans-Montana is a special place, I’ve always felt comfortable here, both in Downhill and Slalom", explains the winner of the day.

Although they couldn’t compete against Brignone, the Swiss once again displayed strong performances on the Mont Lachaux piste. Therefore the Combined World Champion Wendy Holdener completed the podium line-up for the Valais heat, with almost 12,000 fans cheering her on. Although the Schwyz native took 3rd place in the Super-G last year, it’s the first time that she has been a medal winner in a Combined in Crans-Montana.

Best result of their careers for Kopp, Nufer and Gröbli

At the foot of the podium, Rahel Kopp from St. Gall achieved the best result of her career. Her previous best result was a 5th place in the Combined in Soldeu in 2016, on Sunday she finished half a second behind Wendy Holdener. 

In taking 8th place, Priska Nufer matches the best result of her career, while Nathalie Gröbli, in 16th place, had never placed so well in a World Cup.

A positive result for the organisation committee

This Combined completes the 2019 World Cup in Crans-Montana, "one of the best editions under Valais’ sunny skies ", says Marius Robyr, president of the race organisation committee. "It’s all been positive. Personally, I don’t know what we could have changed to do any better".

In all, 31,470 spectators attended the races, ceremonies and World Cup Party. "The crowds were amazing, it was wild all over the resort ",  a delighted Marius Robyr continued.

The next meet in the Valais resort is scheduled for 22 and 23 February 2020, when there will be a Downhill and Super-G on the Mont-Lachaux piste.

Video: Johan Tachet/Laurent Morel, SkiActu

Fotos: DEPREZphoto, cransmontana