The course, which starts at 3,800 metres above sea level and finishes at 2,865 metres above sea level, was designed by Didier Défago, 2010 Olympic downhill champion. Covering 935 metres of altitude over four kilometres, the maximum speed is around 135 km/h. All the athletes will tackle the same piste, with the women's start slightly below the men's.
At 3720m 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. The finish in Cime Bianche, Cervinia, is at 2,835 m.
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 name "Gran Becca"
In Valtournenche, Italy, the Matterhorn is often referred to as "Gran Becca" – the big peak – in the local dialect. The shape of the "Gran Becca" will be visible on the entire race course and will stay with the athletes all the way to the finish in Laghi Cime Bianche. The name of the new race course is a reminder of the affection the residents of Valtournenche have developed for the Matterhorn over decades.