The Stelvio slope is considered to be one of the most technical and spectacular slope all over the world.
It was inaugurated in 1982 for the first edition of the World Series. The course hosted two editions of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships: in 1985 and exactly twenty years later, in 2005. It also hosted two World Cup Finals, in 1995 and 2008. From 1993 to 2013 the Stelvio has yearly hosted the World Cup Downhill Men.
Alongside the Streif of Kitzbuhel, the Stelvio is by unanimous opinion the most spectacular and technically difficult course all over the world. Champions of the calibre of Luc Alphand, Stephan Eberharter, Johann Grugger, Lasse Kjus, Hermann Maier, Daron Rahlves, Andreas Schifferer, Hannes Trinkl, Fritz Stobl, Bode Miller and Michael Walchhofer have triumphed on the “Stelvio”. “Our” Alberto Tomba won once on the Stelvio on a GS course during the World Cup Finals in 1995.
The Stelvio slope: the World Cup course
The Stelvio is almost 3,230 meters long with a 986-meter vertical drop and a maximum gradient of 60%. It is a notoriously unforgiving track.
The start is breathtaking. Two really fast turns lead immediately to the Rocca jump. Then it’s straight into the Canalino Sertorelli, where the skiers gather speed. Then, once past the Fontana Lunga turn, the skiers meet the insidious Ermellini turns, which lead them to the Carcentina diagonal, one of the most spectacular parts of the course.
Just a few seconds to catch their breath and from the Ciuk, they hit the fastest part of the course, the San Pietro jump, which opens up like an chasm under their skis. After the flat stretch they are into the woods where the course is on a counterslope, with big, fast and demanding turns that leave no room for error. Competitors reach more than 100 km/h as they approach the last jump and then fly under the finish banner.
Barely two thrilling minutes of pure adrenaline.