Crans-Montana: a spectacle despite the elements
You had to be patient in Crans-Montana. The weather played a few nasty tricks on the organisers of the World Cup events. After a successful European Cup weekend, despite temperatures which were largely above zero, the organisers had to contend with a softened piste for the World Cup. However, a training session on Friday, and a downhill on Sunday could be held.
The Mont Lachaux piste was excellently prepared and held up well, except on Saturday, when the downhill had to be postponed several times due to persistent fog on the Haut-Plateau. The event was therefore postponed until Sunday, and took place in an electric atmosphere, with large crowds of spectators present throughout the weekend (27,000 people including the ceremonies at the Ycoor ice rink).
The downhill took place in great conditions, thanks in particular to the cooler temperatures, which was very beneficial, and Sofia Goggia, the overwhelming favourite, was rewarded, taking what is probably a decisive step towards the Crystal Globe for the downhill. The Italian beat her compatriot Federica Brignone, who is always very comfortable in Valais, in a resort that she very much appreciates. Finally, there was a surprise from France’s Laura Gauché who took third place, climbing onto her first World Cup podium.
The 500+ staff and 225 military personnel who put together these events can be proud. The image of Crans-Montana has once again been beamed across the globe. See you next year for more races that are already looking spectacular.