9 of the 16 best slalomers in the world will be at the start this Wednesday on the Haut-Plateau (from 5 p.m.). Is this the formula of the future? Marius Robyr is convinced of this.
From the leader of the World Cup, the Norwegian Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, in the sixteenth in the standings, his compatriot Lucas Braathen, they should have been eleven of the 16 best slalomers in the world to participate this Wednesday in the slalom-exhibition of Crans-Montana, for a total of 32 runners.
But the organizers of this slalom-event had to register two forfeits: those of the leader Foss-Solevaag and the Haut-Valaisan Ramon Zenhäusern, who need a rest before the upcoming World Cup deadlines.
The other best Swiss specialists will however be there, namely (among others): Daniel Yule, Luca Aerni, Tanguy Nef or Marc Rochat. But also the Swede Kristoffer Jakobsen (2nd in the World Cup), the French Clément Noël (3rd) or the Italian Giuliano Razzoli (5th).
In short, an exceptional field for a competition that promises to be just as exceptional, if only by its formula. At the end of the qualifications (from 5 p.m.), the two best riders classified from 21st to 32nd will be qualified for the decisive round, which will see 22 riders at the start (from 19:10). From there, we will cut off after each heat six riders, then six others, then five, to end up with a final of five skiers.
Update with Marius Robyr, big boss of the event.
Marius Robyr, your take on the incredible participation in this slalom-exhibition…
It is absolutely exceptional! We have almost all of the best slalomers in the world. You couldn’t ask for better than that. In addition, we predict the sun in Valais, so it’s the absolute top.
Does your formula represent the future of alpine skiing?
In any case, it promises to be spectacular. The sleeves will be short, of course, since they should not exceed 25 seconds, but this will force the skiers to give their all. And there will be no downtime, no waiting time as is the case in the World Cup between the 1st and the 2nd round. The runners will set off every 40 seconds, so for the public it will be an uninterrupted spectacle.
So you are betting on the show …
Yes, we didn’t want to do the same thing as in the World Cup, which people know. We put on the sport-spectacle, with pyrotechnics, and all and all. So, of course, this type of event does not give points and you cannot qualify for the Olympics or the Worlds through an event like ours. But I’m sure it brings credit to alpine skiing.
How did you manage to bring together such a bunch of stars?
First, we organize our slalom between the races in Adelboden and those in Wengen. The skiers are therefore in the region, and they do not have to travel much. And then, we have a more than interesting prize-money: 50,000 francs in all, including 25,000 for the winner of the event. It can make you want to …