On the runway at the Maison & Loisir event in Aosta

November is still a long way off, and yet the men of the Matterhorn Matterhorn Speed Opening are not taking even a day off, because only those who work behind a major event know the many activities - on and off the piste - that have to be carried out in order to be ready. Because last year the lack of snow stopped the show at the most beautiful moment, this time it is clear that appropriate choices will be made to hold the first ever cross-border event, which will rewrite an important piece of Alpine Ski World Cup history.

To better understand what is hidden behind Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening, Aosta Valley organised a public meeting during the Maison & Loisir event in Aosta. What emerged was a pleasant and informative evening, which drew the applause of numerous fans, ready to experience the races on 11 and 12 November (men) and 18 and 19 November (women) at first hand.

Federico Maquignaz, president of Cervino Spa, told how the men of the lift company are already busy covering the snow using the snow farming technique. The day after the end of the winter season, work began on keeping some of the fallen snow, which will then be spread to prepare the Gran Becca slope. Giulio Grosjacques, the newly appointed regional councillor for sport and tourism, spoke of a 'unique event that would be unrealisable without our Swiss friends'. He took turns on stage with Marco Mosso, vice-president of MCSO: 'It is a very big event and the work has never stopped. We have learnt from the past experience, even if we will have to deal with the usual last-minute hitches".

On stage were also athletes and technicians from the Courmayeur Army Sports Centre. Henri Battilani, junior downhill world champion and now trainer of the Italian national team for the European Cup, had the opportunity to train last autumn and assess the slope. "Definitely interesting, with high potential. The women skiers skied there only in part, to prepare for the upcoming season and the Speed Opening. One of these was Alice Calaba, from Gressoney, now injured. Those who will compete for sure is Guglielmo Bosca, who grew up in the ranks of Crammont and who has the mountains of the Aosta Valley at heart. "Many times we have been to Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia to train, thinking of having a race at home will undoubtedly be an extra emotion," he said. "The slope is new for everyone, no one has tried it from top to bottom, this will be a factor not to be underestimated. Our season will start early and the training schedules have also been adjusted'. And so, after some rest, the eyes will already turn to next November.

Photos of the event are available here.