Eight races and eight cancellations – the Matterhorn did not have a good star in its first two years. Is Zermatt/Cervinia the wrong place for the speed crack season opener?
no time? Blue News sums it up for you
- Even after two years and eight attempts, the premiere of the Matterhorn is still a long time coming.
- Following renewed cancellations, more debates arise, especially around the time of the races.
- But because President Franz Gulen asserts that there is no alternative history, the question arises: Is the Matterhorn’s descent about to end again?
After the men’s races were cancelled, the planned women’s Matterhorn descent fell victim to the weather last weekend. Two years later, the results in Zermatt/Cervinia were shocking, and all eight planned races were eventually cancelled.
Finally, the gusty winds put a major obstacle to the organizers’ plans, which was also caused by the long jumps on the Matterhorn slope. “You have a certain height up there, and they go up relatively far, 40 to 45 metres,” says ORF expert Alexandra Misnitzer, pointing to the insecurity.
Therefore, the renewed cancellations were met with understanding from drivers. However, after testing patience, Sofia Goggia says meaningfully: “This road is called Ventina, which means light wind in Italian. “I think there’s a reason for that.”
Not the most stable month
In particular, the timing chosen for the races is a cause for discussion. “It is of course very difficult to ski on a glacier in November,” says Goggia, an alpine skier. “This surprises very few people,” explains ORF expert Meisnitzer. “I’ve been to Zermatt to train on the glacier 100 times in previous years. You don’t have to be a skiing expert to know that November is not the most stable month at this altitude.
This time we’ve obviously had a really bad year. “But you can’t sugarcoat it either. “You have to be realistic enough, it’s not the best idea ever,” says Meisnitzer. “I would really like to drive here, and I also think the road is beautiful — maybe in a different time.”
Room for discussion
German Victoria Rebensburg also sees the need to speak out. “There is a lot of room for discussion. Officials have to confront this matter, because there are controversial opinions on this matter from the athletes’ camp,” says the Eurosport expert.
“If you look at the competition calendar, it makes more sense at the end of the season,” adds Rebensburg, justifying this by the limited opportunities to do speed training on European glaciers in the fall. This is why preparation in the USA has a “very high value”.
However, OK’s president, Franz Johlen, recently clarified that there is no alternative to this date. “For Zermatt-Cervinia, only races can be held between November 1 and 20,” Julin explains. This can be explained, among other things, by the availability of hotels and the capacity of mountain railways.
“No race in two years – the answer already exists”
So the question arises: Is the Matterhorn about to end again before its World Cup debut? “It’s still very early,” says FIS race director Peter Gerdol when asked about the future. He added: “We will sit with the organizers for the next few weeks or perhaps the next months and then we will put everything on the table.”
But for Gogia, the decision looms large. “No race in two years – the answer is already there,” the Italian answered when asked if she should return again next year. “But when we race here, I hope it’s a fair race. We’ll be ready.”
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