16 Jan

The women’s Classic in sight

The Crans-Montana World Cup Organising Committee receives a degree of recognition from the International Ski Federation (FIS) and from Swiss-Ski by organising the European Cup races each year, which are extremely important for promoting young talent. At the same time, these races are an excellent dress rehearsal for the World Cup races which take place the following week. This year, the European Cup races are also a full-scale test for the implementation of Covid-19 protection measures required for the three World Cup races. Last photo: Spaniard Jordi Pujol, FIS Women’s European Cup coordinator, and Marius Robyr, president of the Crans-Montana European and World Cup Organising Committee, both currently under great pressure. Photos taken by Hervé Deprez, the Organising Committee’s official photographer.

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14 Jan

Crans-Montana sets up its health bubble

 A week before the World Cup races in Crans-Montana, the organisers have done everything possible to ensure that the competitions will not be disrupted by the health crisis. There are numerous requirements to guarantee the security of the athletes, teams and everyone working in the organisation entourage. In addition to various measures that have been put into place to ensure that the different groups (athletes/FIS, organisation, media) do not meet, Covid-19 tests were started on Thursday in all hotels on the Haut-Plateau that will be hosting staff from the White Circus caravan next week, in order to prevent the World Cup from becoming a source of contamination. Marius Robyr, president of the Organising Committe, explains.

Video (in French only): SkiActu

 

13 Jan

A Herculean task due to fresh snow on the Mont Lachaux piste

The organisers in Crans-Montana haven’t exactly been spoiled by Mother Nature. As if the considerable additional organisation efforts due to the Covid-19 protective measures were not enough, some 60 centimetres of fresh snow fell this Wednesday, covering the Mont Lachaux piste with a thick layer of powder. Perfectly prepared before this episode, the course must now be repaired for the two Women’s European Cup races this weekend. Race director Markus Murmann and piste director Patrice Morisod, the heads of each sector and their teams have been called upon to work pretty much 24 hours a day.

The good news is that the soldiers of the 14th Carabiniers Battalion –from the canton of Geneva unit, have come to lend a hand to the teams in place with a contingent of 170 men, 120 of them on the piste. In addition, some thirty members of the civil defence forces, and the volunteers, have arrived in time. In any case, there is no other way to deal with the snow, which is welcome in itself, but has come at the worst moment. The three additional state-of-the-art Kässbohrer snow groomers, which are being used as well as the CMA ski lift company’s machines, are proving extremely useful for clearing the piste.

Despite the Herculean task that is being carried out at the moment, it was not possible on Wednesday evening to assess how the training and races will proceed. The jury will meet on Thursday morning, and will decide together with the organisers about the next stages of the programme.   

From Thursday 14 January, see all the news concerning the Women's European Cup events in Crans-Montana, on /en/european-cup/sidebar/news/

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11 Jan

Rehersal for the three World Cup races

Who could have imagined that the first downhill in the Women’s European Cup season would be taking place on Saturday 16 January in Crans-Montana? This will however be the case, as the Haut-Plateau resort is hosting two races in the discipline on 16 and 17 January, on the Mont Lachaux piste. Last winter the races were scheduled at the end of February, on the weekend before the World Cup. The Austrians Nadine Fest and Rosina Schneeberger won the downhill, whereas Switzerland’s Jasmina Suter took the super-G. These were the last speed events of the season, which was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This time, the health situation has "only" caused fans to be absent.

Austria and Switzerland have dominated the super-G so far

This season, the young speed specialists still don’t know exactly where they stand in the downhill. The European Cup athletes have been able to make a few observations. In the two Zinal super-Gs at the beginning of January (replacing Saint-Moritz),  the Swiss dominated initially in the first race (a double win, with Stephanie Jenal’s victory over Jasmina Suter; 6 Swiss in the top 10), before the Austrians took their revenge (a win for Lisa Grill in front of Christina Ager; 6 members of the "Wunderteam" in the top 10). Consequently, the teams from Switzerland and Austria dominate the rankings in the discipline. In the overall rankings, after the slalom weekend in Vaujany (FRA), Andreja Slokar, 23, is in the lead. The Slovenian has a 26 point lead over Lisa Grill. The best Swiss, Stephanie Jena, is 6th with 150 points. Just behind, Camille Rast is in 8th place with 148 points. 

With some of the world’s best specialists

Lisa Grill, Stephanie Jenal and co will therefore tackle these downhills this weekend. One week later, the Mont Lachaux piste will host the traditional Women’s World Cup Classic, with two downhills and a super-G on the programme. For the European Cup, some 90 skiers from 17 nations are enrolled. Amongst them are some of the world’s best specialists, who prefer to come to Valais rather than take a break, while two World Cup giants are scheduled in Kranjska Gora. The list of entrants includes Breezy Johnson (USA), Kira Weidle (GER), Ilka Stuhec (SLO) and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR). It remains to be seen who will actually take part in the training and races.  The hopes of the Swiss team mainly lie with Stephanie Jenal, Jasmina Suter, Rahel Kopp and Noémie Kolly, whereas the winter is already over for the talented Juliana Suter and Luana Flütsch, who are injured.

All News from the women's Europeancup races 2021 in Crans-Montana under
https://www.skicm-cransmontana.ch/en/european-cup/sidebar/programme-2021/

2021-01-10 Stephanie Jenal
Stephanie Jenal
2021-01-10 Jasmina Suter
 Jasmina Suter
24 Dec

Best wishes from the OC Ski World Cup races

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24 Dec

«Crans-Montana is an affair of the heart for me»

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Michelle Gisin is one of the rare all-round racers who is able to claim podium places in all disciplines. The 27 year old from Obwalden is looking forward to the races in Crans-Montana, where she intends to perform in the super-G or the two downhills on the programme (22-24 January).

A few days before the competitions on the Haut-Plateau, the Olympic combined champion evokes her feelings about racing this winter without spectators, her fond memories of the Mont-Lachaux piste and the chance of success for the Crans-Montana/Valais 2027 bid to organise the World Championships.

What is your main objective this winter in sporting terms ?  
That we can compete, first and foremost. Not being able to ski in spring was the thing I missed the most. We weren’t able to practice our sport due to the lockdown, there weren’t any more competitions to watch on tv. It was a difficult time. And when it started again, I watched all the sport possible.

Many people feel the same as you and would also like to come and cheer you on in the finish areas.
Unfortunately, this is just the way it is at the moment. I hope that the ski shows will bring a little bit of happiness to people’s daily lives, which may be a little boring and dull at the moment. If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to practice a sport in the week, and then watch the ski races at the weekend.

How are you managing this season, which has been disrupted by the health crisis compared to previous winters ?  
It’s very particular. It’s similar to the atmosphere in FIS races. You cross the finish line and without spectators, it’s all very quiet. It’s a pity, because we also experience the emotion in our sport. However it’s also true that the fans being present has little influence on the sport itself, and on our performance. It’s different from football and ice hockey, for example, where fans really can influence the direction of a match.

The atmosphere in the finish area in Crans-Montana is always wonderful...
And I’ll miss the atmosphere. The fans in Crans-Montana cheer us on passionately, which is why we feel like rock stars. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal.

What has been your most memorable moment on the Mont-Lachaux piste?
Definitely my combined podium in 2018 (editor’s note: Michelle Gisin finished 2nd just three hundredths behind Federica Brignone). But in fact it was rather the whole weekend, as the day before I had finished 4th in the super-G. I also remember some excellent slalom training on the final wall. This piste would be perfect to host a World Cup slalom, I’m convinced. And if we could do it under spotlights, it would be incredible".

You have been, and still are, ambassador for  Crans-Montana’s bid for the World Championships. What do you think the chances are of the Worlds being held in Valais in February 2027 ?  
I was lucky enough to support the bid in for 2025, and I felt that the process was very positive. I felt peoples’ enormous motivation and enthusiasm, even though they knew that we were not favourites. The application was first-rate and received much praise, which will be an advantage for the next bid.  I think it will happen for 2027".

What are the chances of a 33 year old Swiss skier winning a medal at the World Championships ()editor’s note : the age Michelle Gisin will be in February 2027)?
(Laughs) I don’t know yet. But I will definitely be there in 2027. I simply don’t know in what role yet.These World Championships are still a long way off, and my career plan doesn’t reach that far into the future. I would love to be able to watch the races and cheer on our skiers. 

If you weren’t active in the White Circus anymore by then, might we see you as a consultant for a national television chanel ?  
I would much prefer to work for the OC, because Crans-Montana has become a subject close to my heart. I feel very close to Marius Robyr and Hugo Steinegger in particular, who show enormous enthusiasm and much joy in their commitment to skiing. If they are interested, Marius and Hugo would certainly take priority. They both do sensational work. But let’s wait and see what the future holds. For the time being, I’m a skier and I want to do my best on the slopes.

 

18 Dec

New : two downhills plus a super-G!

It’s official, the Mont Lachaux piste will host a third Women’s World Cup race in January 2021. The programme is now as follows: downhill training on 20 and 21, two World Cup downhills on Friday 22 (start tbd) and Saturday 23 (starting at 10.00) and a super-G on Sunday 24 (11.30). The latter event was originally scheduled in Saint-Moritz, where it had to be cancelled due to heavy snowfall.

The best female skiers in the world will therefore have three days to shine on the Haut-Plateau. This was already the case in 2020, when Crans-Montana hosted a downhill that had been cancelled in Rosa Khutor/RUS. And fortune favoured the Swiss, with two double wins in the downhill thanks to Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter.

« We’re very happy about the decision», Marius Robyr the president of the organising committee welcomes the announcement. This new programme is the result of the confidence that the FIS International Ski Federation and Swiss-Ski have in Crans-Montana, which is, more than ever, showing its attachment to alpine ski racing, as the resort is candidate to host the World Championships in 2027. The fact remains that the organisation of such a competition is a real challenge, which will have to be met in special sanitary conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ski fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a great weekend in front of their television. As they can’t be there in person, as no spectators are allowed, they will be able to follow two great World Cup Classics between Friday 22 and Sunday 24 January. The three races in Crans-Montana will be broadcast on television channels all around the world, followed by the Kitzbühel races.

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3 Dec

The new World Cup hat is here

This practical, warm and cosy souvenir is a consolation for you, dear ski fans, who this year, due to the special conditions as a result of COVID-19, will not unfortunately be able to follow the women’s World Cup races on 23 and 24 January 2021 in Crans-Montana, as they will be taking place without an audience ! But rest assured, you won’t miss a thing while you’re comfortably installed on your sofa, thanks to the coverage produced and broadcast live by Swiss television.

As is the case every year, the very popular official Ski World Cup hat is available from the beginning of December, sporting a different colour theme each season. The 2021 model is dark blue with white stripes and lettering. Cool and chic ! A great gift idea to slip under the Christmas tree.

You can get it at Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress. The price : CHF 20.00.

It’s worth noting that if you become  a « Friend of the Crans-Montana World Cup », you will receive the hat for free. Here is the link : /en/spectators/friends-of-the-crans-montana-ski-world-cup/

 Affiche bonnets

 

11 Nov

SRF extend its rights agreements for live winter sports

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SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will remain the first port of call for skiing and winter sports fans all over Switzerland for the next few years. SRG has reached agreements with its long-standing contractual partners to extend its existing rights packages for several more years. It will broadcast live coverage of all alpine skiing, cross-country and ski-jumping World Championships and World Cup events over the next few years, as well as the Olympic Winter Games in 2022 and all Ice Hockey World Championships until 2028.

Great news for sports fans all over Switzerland: SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will continue to provide comprehensive live coverage of the latest skiing and winter sports action across their channels and platforms, from TV and radio to online and mobile. SRG has agreed to renew a number of key rights deals with its long-standing contractual partners, covering a wide range of events.

FIS World Cup events in Switzerland and worldwide

SRG has extended its agreement with the Swiss Ski Federation (Swiss-Ski) to cover FIS events in Switzerland until the end of the 2027/28 season. Under the deal, SRG has secured exclusive rights to broadcast all alpine skiing, cross-country, ski-jumping, snowboard and freestyle/skicross World Cup events held in Switzerland (of which Crans-Montana). We are delighted to confirm that SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will continue to provide comprehensive live coverage of FIS events held in Switzerland.

SRG has also acquired the broadcast rights for FIS events outside Switzerland from Infront Sports & Media. The contract will allow SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR to provide comprehensive live coverage of FIS World Cup events all over the world until the end of the 2025/26 season. Broadcast rights to events in Austria are not marketed by Infront and are not covered by the agreement, but SRG has obtained rights to these events via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

SRG to broadcast the Olympic Games, as well as world championship skiing and ice hockey

Alongside FIS World Cup events, SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will also broadcast a number of other major winter sports events live. SRG has acquired a sub-licence to cover the 2022 Olympic Winter Games from rights holder Discovery. The agreement will allow SRG stations to provide comprehensive and exclusive live coverage of the Beijing games, broadcast across Switzerland on free-to-air television, radio and freely accessible online platforms.

SRG has also concluded an agreement with Infront Sports & Media to extend its exclusive Swiss broadcast rights to the World Championships in alpine and nordic skiing, freestyle, snowboarding and freeski. The deal means that SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will continue to provide comprehensive live coverage and highlights of all major world title battles until at least 2025. This is additional to extending its existing rights deal with Infront for world championship ice hockey, which gives SRG the right to continue broadcasting all of Switzerland’s matches until at least 2028, as well as full coverage of the tournaments’ latter stages, live and exclusive across free-to-air TV and its online platforms.

Top events in biathlon, curling, bobsleigh and skeleton

In addition, SRG has extended its broadcast rights deal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to broadcast the world’s biggest biathlon events. The contract will allow SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR to continue its comprehensive live coverage of all men’s and women’s Biathlon World Cup events until the end of the 2023/24 season, as well as the World Championships. Moreover, SRG has also renewed its agreement with Infront Sports & Media to provide live coverage and highlights of curling’s World and European Championships across Switzerland until the end of the 2025/26 season. This is in addition to SRG’s current contract with Infront to cover the bobsleigh and skeleton World Cups and World Championships, which runs until the end of the 2021/22 season. 

“SRF, RTS, RSI and RTR will continue to broadcast all the excitement of elite sport on snow and ice across Switzerland”,said Roland Mägerle, Head of SRG’s Sport Business Unit and SRF Sport. “We are delighted to be able to continue bringing our audience the very best action the world of skiing and winter sports has to offer in the form of live broadcasts, interviews and background features. And I am especially pleased that SRG will be able to continue using its expertise to produce the world-wide feed for Switzerland’s World Cup events.”

Gilles Marchand, Director General of SRG, commented: “Winter sports are definitely an important part of Switzerland’s national identity. SRG is delighted to be able to offer its audience across Switzerland’s linguistic regions a broad range of access to the top competitions in a wide variety of disciplines. I am sure our coverage will provide plenty of great moments across SRG’s television channels, radio stations and online platforms.”


SRG pictures for audiences around the world

SRG is the host television broadcaster for FIS events in Switzerland. It works together with Swiss-Ski and the local organisers to produce the world-wide feed for Switzerland’s World Cup events in alpine skiing, cross- country, ski-jumping, snowboard and freestyle skiing/skicross.

The world-wide feed is used to broadcast World Cup events from Switzerland live across the globe. Alongside
SRF, RTS and RSI, all the other television stations and streaming platforms broadcasting these events do so using SRG footage from Switzerland’s ski and winter sports resorts, which is transmitted all over the world.

Swiss-Ski President Urs Lehmann was happy to continue working with SRG: “SRG has been a very important
partner for Swiss-Ski over many decades – and its reliability and overall approach have been exemplary throughout that time. So we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with them for the next few years. SRG’s excellent and extremely knowledgeable team ensure the very best and most spectacular footage from our World Cup events can be broadcast all over the world on television and over the Internet. SRG’s snow- sports coverage represents outstanding publicity not just for Swiss-Ski, but for the World Cup organisers and for Switzerland as a winter sports destination.”

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14 Oct

The Crans-Montana Ski World Cup races will take place without fans!

There won’t be any supporters present for the FIS competitions in Switzerland this winter. This is the decision taken by Swiss-Ski in conjunction with the various organisers of the World Cup races, in order to respect measures against the Covid pandemic, which is seeing a rise again all over.

For the two women’s World Cup downhills, scheduled for 23 and 24 January 2021 in Crans-Montana, there will therefore be no stadiums at the bottom of the Mont Lachaux piste, nor will there be a fan zone at Barzettes, awards ceremonies in the centre of the resort, nor a World Cup Party. There will only be an area set up for a limited number of sponsor and partner representatives, without any contact with World Cup staff and athletes. For these reasons, the live broadcast of the Crans-Montana races by the host broadcaster, the RTS, recognised as a reference in the domain, will be even more significant than usual.

This decision was taken in order to ensure that all ski competitions planned in Switzerland, including the European Cup (two downhills in Crans-Montana, on 16 and 17 January 2021) can still run smoothly, and to limit the risk of virus spread. The various organisers do however reserve the right to reevaluate the situation with the relevant authorities depending on the evolution of the crisis.

 

Swiss-Ski

Press release:
The Alpine Ski World Cup races in Switzerland will  take place without an audience

Following a detailed analysis of the situation related to Covid-19, and in agreement with Swiss-Ski, the Swiss organisers of the 2020/21 Alpine Ski World Cup have decided that their competitions will, in theory, take place without an audience this year.

The principal objective of Swiss-Ski and the Swiss World Cup race organisers is to ensure that all events in Switzerland run smoothly during the 2020/21 season, despite the challenging situation. At the same time, it is necessary to minimise the health risks for all groups of people involved. For several weeks, the organisers of the World Cup and Swiss-Ski have been in intensive and constructive discussions with the various stakeholders, in particular with Swiss Olympic.

Due to the potential risks, it was decided that the Alpine Ski World Cup races and the Ski Jumping World Cup in Engelberg will take place without an audience. Only a few guests will possibly be able to attend the competitions in person, in special zones away from the teams.

There will be no grandstands erected in St-Moritz, Adelboden, Wengen, Crans-Montana, Lenzerheide or Engelberg ; the organisers will not be setting up fan villages or marquees in the finish area or in locations hosting the World Cup races. Prizegiving ceremonies and bib draws will also take place without audiences. Swiss-Ski and the Swiss World Cup organisers will continue to follow the evolution of the Covid-19 situation, and will remain in close contact with the national and cantonal authorities. They reserve the right to modify the concept relating to spectators, depending on the development of the pandemic in Switzerland.

The joint decision to theoretically not admit any spectators to the competitions offers the organisers a certain level of security in their planning in this relatively early stage. The majority of the construction costs for temporary infrastructure can therefore be economised. However, there will be a significant loss of revenue from ticket sales and VIP offers, as well as in local sponsoring.

The fact that, in the current situation, all of the World Cup races in the different disciplines can take place as planned in Switzerland despite the circumstances is largely due to the measures taken by the Confederation to stabilise the situation in Swiss sport. On the basis of a detailed stabilisation concept, Swiss-Ski and the organisers have shown Swiss Olympic the essential role that different World Cup events play in the global snow sports system in Switzerland.

Thanks to the protection concept that they have designed together, Swiss-Ski and the World Cup organisers are convinced that the various Swiss snow sport competitions will be able to run smoothly, from both a sporting and safety perspective. « We’re working really hard alongside the organisers, our host broadcaster SRG SSR and all of the relevant stakeholders to offer snow sport fans and our partners and sponsors a high-quality audiovisual product for different platforms. We would also like to involve fans with new digital services, such as the FIS E-Game and a prediction game (Predictor Challenge), and allow them to contribute in their own way to the fascinating world of snow sports », explains Diego Züger, Swiss-Ski co-director of Marketing. « Thanks to the great understanding between stakeholders and the commitment that they are all showing, in particular our sponsors and partners, it will be possible to successfully manage this difficult World Cup season together ».