A dream weekend in the Crans-Montana sunshine
To the cheers of more than 30,000 spectators along the legendary Mont Lachaux piste, the world's best female downhill skiers competed in two races on the last weekend of February, in a re-match after the Olympic Games. Most of the champions were tired, but they still appreciated the work put in by the organisers, who pulled out all the stops for this edition of the World Cup which took place in conditions that were quite simply magical. The snow and the sun played starring roles in the Valais resort, much to the delight of the public who were able to return to the stands and wave flags in the finish area after difficult times recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As for the sport, Ester Ledecka had a wonderful time! The recent Olympic parallel snowboarding champion dazzled on a piste that suits her down to the ground. After her victory on Saturday, the Czech took a sound second place on Sunday behind the incredible Priska Nufer, who had never before finished on a World Cup podium. The 30-year-old Swiss skier was able to galvanise herself in front of her supporters to achieve a resounding victory, right under the nose of the favourites. While Saturday's podium looked great, with Ledecka alongside Ragnhild Mowinckel and Conny Hütter, Sunday's podium was also very impressive, with Italy’s Sofia Goggia again in third place, taking another small step towards the Crystal Globe in the discipline, ahead of her Swiss rival Corinne Suter.
Above all, thanks to this weekend that went off without a hitch, Crans-Montana has once again proved that it is capable of staging events at the highest world level. This is excellent news with a view to hosting fabulous World Championships in 2027, 40 years after the incredible Worlds on the Valais pistes that thrilled Switzerland, and the whole world. In any case, points were certainly scored in front of the FIS, which had its eyes fixed on the Haut Plateau resort.