New World Cup course ready on the Matterhorn

In a press release, the international ski association, FIS, confirmed that Zermatt/Cervinia will already be included in the 2022/23 Alpine World Cup calendar. At the request of the FIS, four Alpine World Cup speed races will take place on the Matterhorn in the coming autumn, faster than expected. After the traditional season opener in Sölden in October 2022, two men’s and two women’s downhill races will take place around the Matterhorn/Cervino on the “Gran Becca” route.

Swiss-Ski and the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) are making it possible for speed athletes to start the season earlier by including the “Gran Becca” route in the World Cup calendar, and for the Alpine World Cup to have a season thanks to two additional race weekends at the end of October and the beginning of November without interruptions.

“For years, the desire for more speed events on the World Cup calendar has been expressed in order to create a balance between speed and technical races. With the Speed Opening at the foot of the Matterhorn, we can now meet this request faster than we had hoped - thanks to the excellent cooperation with the FIS, the FISI and the mountain railways as well as the tourism and ski destinations of Cervinia and Zermatt in the next season. In terms of the further development of our sport, this is extremely gratifying," says Urs Lehmann, President of Swiss-Ski.

Flavio Roda, President of the FISI, adds: “This transnational World Cup event is a milestone in the history of the Alpine Ski World Cup. The fact that the premiere can take place at the beginning of the coming season is a major challenge that we are happy to accept so that this visionary and innovative project can become a reality in nine months."

First cross-border World Cup races as a great addition to the Alpine World Cup calendar

For FIS President Johan Eliasch, too, the Matterhorn Cervino World Cup races are a great addition to the Ski World Cup calendar: “The inclusion of the races strengthens the speed disciplines and, thanks to the historic route, starting in Switzerland and finishing in Italy special sporting moments for athletes and fans. In addition, giving teams the opportunity to train locally throughout the year could reduce travel to long-haul locations in the southern hemisphere and help FIS reduce its carbon footprint,” continues Johan Eliasch out.

According to OC President Franz Julen, the fact that the premiere is now coming sooner than originally planned is both an opportunity and a challenge: "With Swiss-Ski, the FISI, the team of experts from Val Gardena responsible for the sporting organization of the races, Didier Défago as slope planner and Pirmin Zurbriggen as advisors and ambassadors, as well as the key people on the local organizing committee, we have the necessary experience to organize a top event over the next nine months."

Since the new 3S cable car from Testa Grigia to the Klein Matterhorn, which will connect Cervinia and Zermatt all year round, cannot be completed until spring 2023, the start will be lower. For the men's downhill run in 2022, it will take place in Zermatt at an altitude of 3700 metres. The finish in Cime Bianche, Cervinia, is at 2835 meters.

Swiss Ski Federation Press release

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