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Alpine skiing: the Zermatt-Cervinia stage ousted from next season’s program

The Zermatt-Cervinia stage will not be on the program for the next Alpine Ski World Cup, the Swiss Federation announced on Sunday after the controversies surrounding this unprecedented Italian-Swiss race, canceled twice in 2022 and 2023 due to weather hazards.

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Alpine skiing: the Zermatt-Cervinia stage ousted from next season’s program

The Zermatt-Cervinia stage will not be on the program for the next Alpine Ski World Cup, the Swiss Federation announced on Sunday after the controversies surrounding this unprecedented Italian-Swiss race, canceled twice in 2022 and 2023 due to weather hazards.

“The International Ski Federation and the Swiss and Italian federations have decided that no World Cup downhill will take place in Zermatt-Cervinia for the 2024/25 season,” the president of the Swiss Federation said in a press release, Diego Züger.

“Even if everything is green on the organizational level, there remain so many fundamental questions unanswered concerning the future calendar of the World Cup that we have taken the decision to suspend” the race, he added, confirming information from the Swiss press.

Announced with great fanfare at the start of 2022, this cross-border descent project, although very attractive on paper, between Switzerland and Italy at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn, never took place.

Because the inauguration of the “Gran Becca”, supposed to open the speed season in November, came up against the realities of a glacier that is difficult to tame at this time of year and at more than 3,500 meters. altitude.

At the end of 2022, both the men's and women's downhills were canceled due to the lack of snow at the bottom of the route. And in November 2023, snowfall and wind made it impossible to hold the events.

The repeated cancellations had revived criticism regarding the necessary adaptation of the competition calendar. Some athletes had openly criticized the stage while others were considering a collective boycott of the race if it were to take place in 2024.

Questions concerning the adaptation of the World Cup calendar have punctuated the ski season, marked this winter by serial cancellations (21 races canceled, only five resumptions) due to weather conditions.

It is a real headache for the organizers, who come up against environmental, logistical, economic, media and sporting constraints that are sometimes incompatible.

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