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28/03/2022 - 12:45

The Crystal Globe for the Speed Skiing World Cup will be decided at Grandvalira

Simon Billy, Bastien Montes and Simone Origone vie for the championship while victory is all but assured for Valentina Greggio in the women’s category

After two years off, the competition returns to the Riberal slope in the Grau Roig sector from 30 March to 2 April

 

Speed skiing returns to the Grau Roig sector of Grandvalira after two years off due to the pandemic. The Andorran ski resort is back in the limelight and will host the finals of the World Cup for this discipline from 30 March to 2 April. Two races had originally been scheduled, but Grandvalira will also host the last pending race of the two that couldn’t be held at the beginning of the season at the Vars resort (France) due to weather.

It is a special competition for Grandvalira. Since it hosted the first World Cup for speed skiing in the Pyrenees in 2012 it has done so every year, except for the forced cancellations in 2020 and 2021, and Grandvalira has now become a benchmark within the Federation of International Skiing (FIS).

At the launch event held this morning at Princiesport, the General Manager of Grandvalira Resorts, Juan Ramón Moreno, explained that “we started out hosting the Europa Cup Finals, next year we’ll have the World Cup Finals, and we are candidates to host the 2027 World Ski Championships. The Speed Skiing World Cup Finals are also part of Grandvalira's strategy to position itself as a benchmark for international competition in different disciplines”.

The Riberal slope in the Grau Roig sector is once again the chosen site for the speed skiing race. It is one of the fastest slopes on the FIS circuit thanks to its 1,000 metres in length, with 200 m of vertical drop and a maximum gradient of 74%. The speed record for the slope is held by Swiss skier Philippe May, who in 2017 reached nearly 200 kilometres per hour, coming it at 199.56 km/h. “This year we hope to be able to exceed 200 km/h”, said Race Coordinator Nadal Antor, adding that weather conditions will play a key role in achieving that goal. He also explained that this year there will be nearly 80 skiers from 10 different countries competing.

 

Maximum competitiveness to fight for the 2022 Crystal Globes

With the three Grandvalira races left to go, the men’s Speed Skiing World Cup for 2022 will be decided among French skiers Simon Billy and Bastien Montes and the Italian Simone Origone.

Billy (2021) and Montes (2017) are looking to win their second Crystal Globe for speed skiing, while Origone is going for his thirteenth. The Italian is the most decorated skier of all time with twelve World Cups (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020).

The competition between the three skiers portends some very tense finals. There are 300 points at stake, 100 per race, and everything is still up for grabs. Bastien Montes currently leads the standings with 400 points, followed by Simon Billy (380 points) in second and Simone Origone (372) in third.

In the women’s category, on the other hand, the title appears to be all wrapped up. The Italian Valentina Greggio comes to Grandvalira undefeated this season with five consecutive victories. If nothing goes wrong, she’ll walk away with her fifth World Cup (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018). The Swedish skier Britta Backlud, winner of the last three editions (2019, 2020 and 2021), is currently in second place with 370 points, while Greggio has 500.

 

Ricardo Adarraga: “The Riberal slope has the potential for 200 kilometres per hour”

The launch event this morning was attended by Spain’s two fastest racers, Ricardo Adarraga and Marta Visa. Adarraga holds the Spanish speed ski record with a personal best of 240.6 km/h. During the event, the Guipuzkoa native recalled “I am always excited to return to Grandvalira, because it's a very well-prepared slope where I feel very comfortable. The Riberal slope has the potential for 200 kilometres per hour, it’s in the Pyrenees and it’s practically like a home match for me, to use a football metaphor. It's always there to welcome me at the end of the season and I tend to go faster. I'm working to make my way into the top 10 of the general standings”.

Also participating in the event alongside Ricardo Adarraga will be Juanki Sánchez from Madrid and the Catalan Eduard Manrique. Marta Visa will not be competing, as she was injured at the World Championships in Vars (France) in January and has still not fully recovered. The skier from Cerdanya holds the Spain women’s speed record of 184.53 km/h. “Grandvalira is almost like home for me because I trained here often as a girl. It’s a shame about the accident in Vars because I was really looking forward to skiing Riberal this year and beating my personal best,” Visa said, adding that “next year I hope to be able to try this slope”.

The Riberal speed slope

LOCATION: Grau Roig sector of Grandvalira.
Altitude at the top: 2,538 m
Altitude at the bottom: 2,338 m
Maximum gradient: 74%
Vertical drop: 200 m
Length: 1,000 m
Official record: Philippe May (Switzerland) 199.56 km/h

2022 Speed Skiing World Cup Schedule

30 March
3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Passes - Grau Roig Building
7 p.m. Captains Meeting - Grau Roig Building 

31 March 1st World Cup (Vars make-up race)
10 a.m. Mandatory trainings
11:30 a.m. Semifinals
1 p.m. Final
1:30 p.m. Medals ceremony

1 April 2nd World Cup
9 a.m. Classifying round
10:30 a.m. Semifinals
12 p.m. Final
1:30 p.m. Medals ceremony
2 p.m. Captains Meeting - Grau Roig Building

2 April 3rd World Cup
9 a.m. Classifying round
10:30 a.m. Semifinals
12 p.m. Final
1:30 p.m. Medals ceremony and 2022 Crystal Globes

 

DOWNLOAD THE GRAPHIC MATERIALS HERE

 

ABOUT GRANDVALIRA

Grandvalira, located in the north of the Principality of Andorra, is the largest ski resort in southern Europe, with 139 slopes and a total of 210 km of suitable skiing areas. The area it occupies lies within two of the seven parishes of Andorra (Encamp and Canillo) and is made up of seven different sectors: Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig, Peretol, Soldeu, El Tarter, Canillo and Encamp. Grandvalira offers a broad range of leisure activities for all audiences, along with high-quality dining. Since 2019, Grandvalira has joined forces with Ordino Arcalís and together, under the Grandvalira Resorts brand, they offer the possibility of skiing on a total of 240 km of slopes, a usual venue for world-class international competitions. More information at www.grandvalira.com

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