Ski cross... for the uninitiated!
On the 20th of February 2014, Val Thorens was ablaze with pride for its local boy's victory. Already the 2013 World Champion, Jean-Frédéric CHAPUIS took home the Olympic title in the resort's flagship discipline: ski cross.
For 10 years, the Savoie resort has been considered the undeniable leader in the discipline and once again this season, the world's best ski crossers will be in attendance for the occasion of two World Cup stages taking place between the 11th and the 13th of December 2014.
But what do you really know about Ski Cross?
Where and when was the discipline invented?
Ski cross was developed in the USA during the 1990s.
How long is a ski cross descent?
The length of the run varies between 800 and 1,200 metres
What speed can competitors reach?
The average speed is 69 km/hr. However, peaks of up to 80 km/hr have been reached.
What does the run comprise of?
The run has to include a series of different modules and be made up of 50% turns, 25% 'traversées' (woops, bank and rolls) and 25% jumps.
How long does an average ski cross race take?
The average length of time should be between 45 and 60 seconds.
How high up in the air can skiers reach during jumps?
Some skiers manage to jump a distance of more than 50 metres. However, the skier's main aim is still to spend as much time as possible in contact with the ground.
How does a competition work?
It all starts with the qualifiers: each competitor tackles the course on their own against the clock. The qualifying times are then used to sort the hierarchy and divide the competitors into different groups.
Next, the race changes format. 4 skiers set off at the same time, and only the fastest 2 qualify for the next race. The two eliminated competitors are ranked according to their qualifying time.
At the end of the semi-finals, the four best competitors compete in the "grand final" which determines their positions from 1 to 4. The 3rd and 4th position holders in the semi-finals then compete in the "small final" which determines places 5 to 8.
Did you know?
When the competitors cross the finish line, in the event of a photo finish, first place is given to the skier who crosses the line first with any part of their body (hand, leg...)!
Now you're ready to discover Val Thorens' flagship discipline!
2014 - 2015 ski cross events:
From the 11th to the 13th of December : Ski Cross World Cup
From the 18th to the 19th of December : Ski Cross European Cup