Zermatt to Cervinia Men’s & Women’s World Cup Downhills Called Off
23rd October 2022
Last modified on October 25th, 2022
They were to have been the flagship races of the new season and the first between two countries. A lack of snow has caused the cancellation. It begs the question whether it was sensible to schedule them so early in the season in the first place. UPDATED
The men’s race was cancelled at the weekend and now the women’s event has been called off too.
It has been an unseasonably warm autumn and there is not enough snow on the lower section of the course.
Warm temperatures meant not enough snow could be made.
At the weekend the International Ski and Snowboard Federation said the men’s races for next weekend had to be cancelled “due to the lack of snow and the safety situation on last section of the race track”.
They will not be replaced.
The women were due to race on the same course a week later, and a decision on that event has now been made.
It is off too.
“FIS Alpine World Cup Tour has unfortunately been forced to cancel the men’s races scheduled on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October,” said the organisers in a statement last weekend.
“We have done so much in the past few weeks and months. Logistically and organizationally, we are ready. On the track, the team gave everything to the end so that we could also manage the lower part of the racetrack. Ultimately, however, we must recognize that nature is always stronger than man,” said racer organiser, Franz Julen.
The 4-kilometer Gran Becca race from Zermatt in Switzerland to Cervinia in Italy was set to become the first cross-border event in Alpine skiing’s World Cup history.
The cancellation of the races is a blow and some wonder why they were scheduled so early in the season.
One reason is that there was little room in an otherwise packed winter racing programme.
But that ignores the simple fact that snow down to resort level in ski resorts in October and November is highly volatile, and climate change means temperatures may not be cold enough to make artificial snow.
So it has turned out to be.
“The organizing committee has not only achieved great things in the past few days. It was certainly not their fault that the men’s races could not take place,” said FIS Secretary General, Michel Vion.
“The Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening is a new and unique project that we continue to believe in.”
FIS had made much of the new races.
Organisers are now discussing whether to schedule next year’s races for later in the season when there is a better chance of snow.
This weekend the women’s GS race in Soelden was called off, but the men’s event was able to take place.