A long-planned ski race on a new course that crosses the Swiss – Italian border has been confirmed to go ahead this autumn.
Christened the ‘Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening’ racers will descend from, one of Europe’s highest lift-served points at Gobba di Rollin at an altitude of around 3,800 metres above Zermatt and cross the border into Italy, finishing at Laghi Cime Bianche above Cervinia.
The races will take place just after the first slalom races kick off the World Cup 22-23 tour, as is tradition on a glacier above Sölden in the Austrian Tirol (on October 22-23 this year).
There will be two downhill races reach for men first on 29 and 30 October 2022, then for women the weekend after on 05 and 06 November 2022.
Normally the ‘speed tour’ part of the Alpine Skiing World Cup begins in late November in North America with races at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada and Beaver Creek in Colorado, so it means the downhill racers will be starting a month earlier than they have previously.
The race had been proposed and promoted by Italian and Swiss ski bodies for some years and had been provisionally confirmed to go ahead at the start of this year, but was formally given the go ahead at an FIS congress in Milan at the end of May.
The new race venue is part of a number of changes to the tour, which will also see it cross back in to North America after the 2023 Alpine Skiing World Championships at Courchevel and Méribel next February.
The skiing above Zermatt is one of two centres worldwide that is still open year-round. Cervinia closes for periods in late spring and early autumn but usually re-opens in the first half of October.