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

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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

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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

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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

 

23 Feb

The JUZI and the GENDERBÜEBU set the World Cup Party ambiance on fire

Hundreds of thousands of fans have already applauded the JUZI. The Juzi are «Die Jungen Zillertaler», and they’re in their 25th year of appearing on stage, appearing 35 times already on the famous Musikantenstadel show. After performing to a cheering audience at a showcase at the Ycoor Ice Rink just before the prizegiving ceremony and the draw for the Combined (Sunday, Downhill at 10.30 and slalom at 13.30), the Austrians gave a great show at a packed «Régent» hall. On top form, they shook the foundations of the tennis courts which had been transformed into a concert hall for the occasion.  

«Die Jungen Zillertaler» are one of the most popular groups on the European folk music scene. They continued to build a great atmosphere after a very successful first concert by their colleagues, the Genderbüebu. This accordian quartet from Upper Valais is also extremely popular: they recently received the Golden Award from the folk music programme Viva on the SRF1 channel. «Folk music is part of the White Circus », declared Hugo Steinegger, manager of the World Cup party. « We have to keep this celebration in Crans-Montana’s race programme.»

Video: Johan Tachet/Laurent Morel, SkiActu

Photos: Luciano Miglionico

 

23 Feb

Sofia Goggia takes the top step of the podium beating the Swiss

During a Downhill race under sunny skies in Crans-Montana that was interrupted several times, Sofia Goggia proved that she was the best, finishing in front of Joana Hählen and Lara Gut-Behrami. The Italian deserved to be tipped as favourite in the Crans-Montana Downhill, after placing first in both of the training sessions. It’s an understatement to say that the skier from Bergamo didn’t disappoint in Saturday’s race.  Skiing majestically from start to finish on the Mont Lachaux piste, her lead was considerable; 0″36 in front of Joana Hählen and 0″46 faster than Lara Gut-Behrami.

Although it’s the 6th World Cup win for the Italian, who is Olympic Downhill champion and recent World Super-G silver medallist, Joana Hählen had never managed a podium place before on the White Circus circuit. The skier from Bern made great use of her lucky bib number (6), on a piste which hadn’t deteriorated as much as expected, despite the spring temperatures.

The Swiss shine despite problems with the timing

Behind the surprise place for Joana Hählen, it was Lara Gut-Behrami who took 3rd place. After a race that was disrupted by timing problems, the podium place for the skier from Ticino was only confirmed thirty minutes after the race had ended, as she had initially been placed 4th. Lots of competitors, including Joana Hählen, Lara Gut-Behrami, Jasmine Flury and Priska Nufer, experienced problems with their times, as the clock did not stop as they crossed the finish line. The Downhill was also disrupted by several falls, including the Slovenian World Champion Ilka Stuhec, and France’s Tiffany Gauthier, who had to be heliported off the course.

This didn’t stop the Swiss from giving great performances on the Haut Plateau. Besides Joana Hählen and Lara Gut-Behrami, Corinne Suter took 5th place and Jasmine Flury 7th place. Priska Nufer was 12th, completing the excellent results for Switzerland.

Statement from Longines and Swiss Timing regarding World Cup Crans-Montana ladies' downhill

DEPREZphoto, cransmontana
Agence Zoom