The International Ski Federation (FIS) has now confirmed that two Men's and two Women's Downhill races will already take place next season around the Matterhorn/Cervino after the traditional season opener in Soelden.
Zermatt/Cervinia will be part of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup as early as the 2022-2023 season, making history with the first cross-border Alpine World Cup races.
The event is giving speed athletes an earlier start to the season and the Alpine World Cup a season without interruptions thanks to two additional race weekends end of October and early November.
"Zermatt/Cervinia is a great addition to the Alpine Ski World Cup calendar. The inclusion of the races strengthens the speed disciplines and add special sporting moments for athletes and fans thanks to the historic course layout with the start in Switzerland and the finish in Italy", FIS President Johan Eliasch said.
"All teams will be able to take advantage of on-site training throughout the year. This will reduce travel to long-distance venues in the Southern Hemisphere and will contribute to FIS' commitment to reducing its carbon footprint", he added.
"For years, the wish has been expressed for more speed events in the World Cup calendar in order to create a balance between speed and technical races. With the Speed Opening at the foot of the Matterhorn Cervino, we can now meet this request faster than hoped – thanks to the excellent cooperation with FIS, FISI, and the cable car companies as well as the tourism and skiing destinations of Cervinia and Zermatt already next season. In terms of the further development of our sport, this is extremely gratifying", Swiss-Ski President Urs Lehmann said.
"This transnational World Cup event is a milestone in the history of the Alpine Ski World Cup. The fact that the premiere can already take place at the beginning of the upcoming season is a great challenge, which we are happy to accept so that this visionary and innovative project becomes reality in nine months", President of FISI Flavio Roda said.
"With Swiss-Ski, FISI, the team of experts from Val Gardena who are responsible for the sporting organization of the races, Didier Defago as slope designer and Pirmin Zurbriggen as advisor and ambassador as well as the key people in the LOC, we have the necessary experience to organize a top event in the next 9 months”, said Franz Julen, President of the Local Organising Committee.
As the new 3S cable car from Testa Grigia to the Klein Matterhorn, which will connect Cervinia and Zermatt year-round, will not be completed until spring 2023, the start of the 2022 men's downhill in Zermatt will be lowered to an altitude of 3,700 meters with the finish at 2,835 meters in Cime Bianche, Cervinia.