Gran Becca and its unique highlights
How does the designer of the «Gran Becca», Olympic downhill champion Didier Défago, characterize this new World Cup course? «At 3800m of altitude, embedded in a majestic panorama, La Gran Becca has the highest start of all world cup races. The course is drawn on the Swiss and Italian territories, mostly on glacier. Between crevasses and stunning rocks, the downhill is complete, composed of a pure gliding parts, big and fast downhill curves and more technical parts with high speed and varied jumps. Its 885m difference of altitude, the altitude itself, its 3.7km of length, the combination of natural and artificial snow - this all will bring additional challenges to the athletes», is Didier Défago convinced.
Why «Gran Becca»?
The Streif in Kitzbühel, the Lauberhorn in Wengen or the Stelvio in Bormio - among ski enthusiasts, the names of these legendary downhill courses are all well-known. Every World Cup downhill course has a name that remains engraved in memories and in history. This is exactly what should happen with Gran Becca, the spectacular and cross-border new downhill-course at the foot of the Matterhorn/Cervino.
«Two thirds of the race is run on the Italian side, so it made absolutely sense to us to give it an Italian name», says Franz Julen. «We were looking for a name that ideally represents the area where these World Cups races will be held».
«In Valtournenche/Cervinia and in the whole Valle d'Aosta region, the Matterhorn is often called «Gran Becca» in the local dialect – the great peak,» explains Marco Mosso, vice-president of the Organizing Committee. «The Matterhorn will join the skiers from the start to the finish. We all know the importance and the symbol of this mountain. That's why this course is named that way,» says the Italian.
«We really found the right name for this unique course, a name that underlines the respect and the collaboration of our two regions. On this unique project, all partners and institutions, from Zermatt and Valtournenche/ Cervinia as well as the canton of Valais and Valle d’Aosta region will be on an equal level», says Franz Julen.
What makes «Gran Becca» so interesting for skiing fans?
It is not only the embedding in a unique natural setting amidst several four-thousand-metre peaks and along deep crevasses and spectacular cliffs that makes the Gran Becca so appealing to ski fans. Rather, from the finish, a full 2/3 of the cross-border course can be seen, which also makes the Gran Becca extremely interesting for spectators. This means that skiing fans will get their money's worth both on site and on TV.
The «Gran Becca» has the first solar powered start house. This has an integrated photovoltaic system with the size of approximately 60 m2. It consists of two sections: a 35m2 front part that houses the starting gate and the 55m2 back part that serves as a heated shelter for athletes. The entire house is made of a lightweight pneumatic shell, which is produced without petroleum. It can be assembled and disassembled in a very short time and complies with FIS guidelines.
FACTS & FIGURES
GOBBA DI ROLLIN (3'800 m.a.s.l.)
LAGHI CIME BIANCHE (2'835 m.a.s.l.)
POTENTIAL MAXIMUM SPEED