Grandvalira holds European Cup finals, last trial before the 2016 World Cup
The Alpine Skiing European Cup Finals which will be held from 19 to 22 March at Grandvalira, were officially announced today at a press conference held in El Tarter's Hotel Nòrdic. A total of 20 countries will be represented in these championships. More than 250 people, including skiers and staff, will travel to the Andorran ski resort next week where some of the best European skiers will come together.
A series of cancellations at different European destinations due to weather conditions, and the confidence shown by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in Grandvalira, has finally resulted in the Andorran resort holding 3 more trials than the 5 initially planned. Therefore, there will be 8 trials in total, 5 qualifying as European Cup Finals and 3 cancellations added from other resorts: 1 downhill and 2 super-giants in the men's category and 3 downhill, 1 slalom (combined) and 1 super-giant in the women's category.
The numbers involved are a good indication of the scale of the competition. The organization includes 200 people, with 150 volunteers, 110 of which will be working on the slopes. Grandvalira has everything prepared so that these championships are a success and represent Andorra's great organizational capacity for large sports events.
Conrad Blanch, managing director of the European Cup Finals assessed the importance of this event both for Grandvalira and the Principality of Andorra: "The event is a step towards consolidating Andorra's and Grandvalira's standing in alpine skiing. It is the last step before taking on the Women's World Cup 2016".
The Àliga slope, prepared for top competition
According to the Race Manager, Jordi Pujol, the Àliga slope is currently in "unbeatable" conditions. Preparation work to set the scene of the competition has been intense for weeks. The slalom test will take place on the old Àliga slope, a route that was injected at the end of the month to ensure a harder surface. The combined slalom includes downhill on the Àliga slope and a slalom on the old Àliga. This discipline will be added in women's events at the Grandvalira competition, and will serve as a trial before the Women's World Cup which will be held on the 27 and 28 February 2016.
Grandvalira and Andorra among the skiing elite
The president of the Andorran Skiing Federation (FAE), Albert Coma, stated that "a great show is expected next week at Grandvalira". He added that, "Grandvalira should have an Alpine Skiing World Cup on its calendar at least every two or three years, it's the way forward". Over the next few days, the FAE will confirm the Andorran skiers selected to participate in the European Cup Finals.
Betim Budzaku, Director of Andorra Tourism stated that “there is no doubt in our minds that it will be a success, due to both the quality of the slope and the supporting logistics. Once again, Andorra and Grandvalira will strengthen the country's positioning in snow and skiing."
The Andorran resort has been confirmed for both the European Cup Finals and the Women's World Cup 2016. Grandvalira and the FAE are maintaining their request to hold the World Cup Finals in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The FIS also put forward a formal request a few years ago to hold a World Cup trial in the men's category.
Grandvalira would like to thank the collaboration of sponsors, the Andorran Skiing Federation (FAE), Andorra Turisme, Crèdit Andorrà, Andorra Telecom and Hotel Nòrdic, as well as many others, who have made it possible to bring these top level trials to the Pyrenees.
French and Andorran Championships, also at Grandvalira
The activity on the Àliga slope is intense on the days prior to the European Cup Finals, as the French Championships (16 years) and Andorran Championships FIS are held. The promising future of alpine skiing from France can be found these days at Grandvalira enjoying superb routes and fantastic weather conditions. Over 130 young skiers tried El Tarter sector's best known slope at Grandvalira. Over the coming days races will continue with trials for the national championships.
Good snow conditions for this weekend
The largest resort in Southern Europe is continuing to enjoy good conditions in its 6 sectors. Currently, there are 270 kilometers of open skiable area, practically the whole area (98%). Snow depth ranges from 140 to 210 centimeters. This information will be updated constantly on the domain's website www.grandvalira.com.
The three snowparks of the Andorran resort, El Tarter, Xavi Park and Sunset Park Peretol, are 100% operational and available to riders who want to come by and enjoy the facilities.
The day doesn't end at nightfall
After sunset, Grandvalira continues to have lots of activity for those who want more. Every Thursday and Saturday, the night slope of La Solana at Pas de La Casa remain open during usual opening hours (from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.), weather conditions permitting.
L’Abarset is the meeting point for those who feel like partying after a day in the snow. This Saturday, Jägermeister is coming to El Tarter with DJ Radiocontrol from Barcelona.
This is the calendar of activities planned for the next few days:
Thursday 12/03: Andorran Championships FIS, practices. Àliga slope (El Tarter).
Thursday 12/03: Nighttime slope La Solana (Pas de la Casa) from 5:00 pm to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday 12/03: Music at L'Aberset (El Tarter) from 6:30 p.m.
Friday 13/03: Andorran Championships FIS, downhill. Àliga slope (El Tarter).
Friday 13/03: Music at L'Aberset (El Tarter) from 6:30 p.m.
Saturday 14/03: Andorran Championships FIS, super-giant. Àliga slope (El Tarter).
Saturday 14/03: Nighttime slope La Solana (Pas de la Casa) from 5:00 pm to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 14/03: Music at L'Aberset (El Tarter) from 6:30 p.m.
Sunday 15/03: Andorran Championships FIS, super-giant and combined slalom U-14 and U-16. Àliga slope and Esparver slope (El Tarter).
Sunday 15/03: Mountain skiing outing at El Pic de la Serra Seca