The US-American Breezy Johnson opens the first women's downhill on the Gran Becca!

The 2023/24 speed season can begin! Tomorrow, Saturday, from 11.45 am, the world's best downhill skiers will celebrate their premiere on the new Gran Becca World Cup course as part of the Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening. The starting position promises great excitement!

Saturday will reveal who has best memorised the 2910-metre downhill course with its 665-metre difference in altitude and who has trained most effectively over the summer. All eyes will be on the Italian Sofia Goggia in the first downhill of the season. The downhill World Cup winner will start the race as one of the big contenders for the day's victory with bib number 12.

Co-hosts Switzerland also have some promising racers at the start. Corinne Suter (bib 9), Jasmine Flury (6) and Lara Gut-Behrami (8), for example, who won the giant slalom at the season opener in Sölden three weeks ago.

But the list of favourites does not end there. The Slovenian Ilka Stuhec is just as good for a top place as the Austrians Cornelia Hütter, Nina Ortlieb, Mirjam Puchner or Stephanie Venier. It will also be interesting to see how Germany's Kira Weidle and the Czech Ester Ledecka perform.

In addition to Goggia, Italy will be sending Elena Curtoni, who was not 100 per cent fit during training on Thursday, as well as Aostan local hero Federica Brignone, who is now looking to show off in front of her home crowd after her second place in Sölden. The Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening will be opened by Breezy Johnson with the star number 1, followed by Joana Hählen with the 2 and Ragnhild Mowinckel with the 3.

The Gran Becca is a completely new course on the ski circuit - another factor that is added to a sport as unpredictable as alpine skiing. The protagonists are ready! A big surprise cannot be ruled out, especially on a course with little experience. The women's World Cup downhill will be broadcast live on Saturday by numerous European television stations, including SRF, ORF, Rai and Eurosport.