By unanimous opinion, alongside Kitzbuhel, this is absolutely the most spectacular and technically difficult course. Bormio’s Stelvio Slope was designed to give great champions the opportunity to show off their technical and athletic prowess. «No outsider has ever won here» says Aldo Anzi, the Course Director. «The athlete who steps onto the podium in Bormio can be sure that he possesses exceptional competitive and technical skills».
The “Stelvio” Slope was inaugurated in 1982 for the first edition of the World Series and has twice hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships: in 1985 and exactly twenty years later, in 2005. And the traditional World Cup end-of-year downhill race has been held on this slope every December 29th since 1993.
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”.
The “Stelvio”, which is almost 3,230 metres long with a 986-metre difference in altitude and a maximum gradient of 60%, is a notoriously unforgiving track and is the only one where the finish area can clearly be seen from the starting gate.
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, theSan 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.
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