From 10 to 13 April 2019 Grandvalira will play host to the fastest skiers in the world for the two final trials of the Speed Skiing World Cup. The resort has previously hosted six consecutive editions of the World Cup trials, along with the Speed Skiing World Championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Swiss skier Philippe May surprised all the visitors with a new speed record on the Riberal track. He achieved 199.56 km / h.
This season’s trial will take place on the Riberal slope in Grandvalira’s Grau Roig sector and will once again feature a tower some 10 metres high by 18 metres long. Upon exiting this tower, skiers will be able to reach speeds of around 200 km/h.
The Riberal slope, which is the only facility in southern Europe that is capable of hosting competitions of this type, is a total of 900 metres long and has a run-out area of some 450 metres. The difference between its highest and lowest points is 200 metres (the altitude of the slope is 2,538 metres at the top and 2,338 metres at the bottom), in addition to the 10-metre start tower. These and other technical characteristics, such as the maximum gradient of 74%, will enable skiers to reach speeds of around 200 km/h.
Speed skiing is a discipline that combines speed, technique, advanced equipment and human skill. It is one of the oldest forms of competition in the world of skiing, with a history that stretches back more than a century to the time when gold-miners and loggers began to organize meets and competitions in America’s Rocky Mountains. The first official competition took place in 1930 in Saint Moritz, where the Austrian skier Leo GASPERL set the inaugural world record of 139 km/h. Thanks to advancements in ski equipment, in 1978 STEVE MCKINNEY became the first person to reach 200 km/h, in Portillo, Chile. Two years later, the discipline announced its arrival on the global stage with the launch of the first worldwide circuit. Today, the current world speed records are held by VALENTINA GREGGIO 247,083 KM/H, AND IVAN ORIGONE 254,958 KM/H.