Grandvalira repairs the Àliga course in record time, so that it is able to hold the downhill event
- A technique never seen before in Andorra, involving more than 100 people, made it possible for this weekend's event to be held
The adverse weather conditions put the organization to the test, although it overcame this great challenge
Overcoming adversity and making supreme efforts are the essence of sport, values that the Grandvalira technical team transferred to the job of repairing the Àliga course so that the men's downhill could take place. The complicated weather conditions that have affected the venue for the Europa Cup Finals throughout the week, with rain, wind, high temperatures, and even dust and Saharan sand, had left the track in an unfit state for the competition to occur. But the Soldeu El Tarter team's tenacity and ability to react in record time made it possible to stay on schedule this weekend at the legendary El Tarter course.
To achieve this, a team of more than 100 people, including volunteers, resort technicians, ski school monitors, members of ski clubs from throughout the country, coaches of the competing teams, and even one of the racers who would compete in the downhill, went down the course on foot (over the 420 metres and on an average slope of 30%) forming a human chain to press the course and get the salt which had previously been spread over it to penetrate with the aim of hardening the snow. Later, the team used skis to compact the snow, a job that was completed by the snow groomers in a last phase.
The race director, Santi López, explained that this technique “was a proposal from the FIS” and that “we had never seen it or tried it before, but we believed in it.
We immediately assembled the teams, organized ourselves logistically, and started working against the clock to make it a reality.” “We have overcome all kinds of adversities in previous competitions and this one couldn't be an exception,” he added. López highlighted that without the entire staff's involvement and capacity to work as a team, the course would not have been repaired.
After hours and hours on the ground, it was finally possible for the FIS to approve the track that will hold the training sessions for the men's downhill event this Saturday starting at 9:30 am and the event itself, the last of the Europa Cup circuit, this Sunday.