Alpine Ski World Cup Finals Soldeu El Tarter 2023 Preview
The journey that we started in Sölden in October is coming to an end. After the last races in Kranjska Gora and Åre, the World Cup now moves onto the Season Finals in Soldeu El Tarter (Andorra).
The skiing domain of Grandvalira Andorra, were the ski area of Soldeu El Tarter is located, has hosted several top-level sporting events in recent years.
For several years, Andorra has been hosting Alpine Skiing competitions. Andorra was the venue for the First Alpine Skiing European Cup on March 1974 at Pas de la Casa. The ski resort hosted again the European Cup the following year. After a few years, on the 1990-1991 winter season, the competition returned to Pas de la Casa to host two Slalom events. Since 2003 Andorra became a main venue of the European Cup Circuit.
Following the success of the 2012 and 2016 Alpine Ski World Cup, the 2019 World Cup Finals, and the 2022 European Cup Finals, the largest ski area in the Pyrennes returns to the Alpine Ski scene with the hosting of the 2023 World Cup Finals, from 13 to 19 March.
Since 1993 the International Ski Federation has hosted a World Cup Final at the end of each season in March. During a week, Men's and Women's races are held in four disciplines: Downhill, Super-G, Slalom, and Giant Slalom. Also, a Mixed Team Parallel is held. Only a limited number of racers are invited to ski at the Finals, including the top 25 in the World Cup standings in each discipline, plus the current junior World Champions in each discipline, with World Cup points only awarded to the top 15 finishers in each race.
For five days, the 150 best skiers in the world will be competing in Soldeu El Tarter.
For many of the ski racers the Finals in Andorra are a chance to rediscover the Avet and Àliga racecourses (which hosted the 2019 World Cup Finals).
There are two Crystal Globes that are yet to be decided in the Finals in Soldeu El Tarter: the Women's Super-G, and Men's Slalom.
The fight for the Super-G Crystal Globe is still on with five skiers separated by just 44 points after the race in Kvitfjell. Everything is possible in the last Super-G at the World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra on March 16th.
The five female skiers still in the race for this season's Super-G Crystal Globe are Elena Curtoni (332 points), Lara Gut-Behrami (313), Cornelia Huetter (307), Ragnhild Mowinckel (306), and Federica Brignone (288).
This season, the seven Women's World Cup Super-G events have been won by seven different women (Corinne Suter, Lake Louise; Mikaela Shiffrin, St Moritz; Federica Brignone, St. Anton; Lara Gut-Behrami, St. Anton; Ragnhild Mowinckel, Cortina d'Amppezo; Cornelia Huetter, Kvitfjell; and Nina Ortlieb, Kvitfjell).
Mathematically there are four skiers in the fight for the Slalom Crystal Globe (Ramon Zenhaeusern has 367 points) but there are really three who are competing for the title of the discipline: Lucas Braathen (466), Henrik Kristoffersen (434), and Daniel Yule ( 401).
Lucas Braathen finished on the podium in five of the nine Men's World Cup Slalom events this season. He has won the Opening Slalom in Val d'Isère, and the event in Adelboden.
Henrik Kristoffersen won the Slalom gold medal the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel.
The Norwegian was three times on the podium, twice in the first position: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Wengen.
Kristoffersen, with 49 podiums including 23 wins, is one shy of his 50th podium result in a World Cup Slalom event. Three other men recorded as many podium finishes in World Cup Slalom events as Kristoffersen: Ingemar Stenmark (81), Marcel Hirscher (65), and Alberto Tomba (57).
Daniel Yule won the World Cup Slalom races in Madonna di Campiglio and Kitzbühel this season, and finished third in Chamonix.
The 30-year-old Swiss skier can equal his best season 2019-2020 when he became the only Swiss man so far to win three Men's Slalom World Cup events in a single campaign.
Soldeu El Tarter (AD) WC FINALS 2023
March 15th Downhill / Men & Women / 10:00 - 11:30 CET
March 16th Super-G / Women & Men / 10:00 - 11:30 CET
March 17th Team Parallel / Mixed / 12:00 CET
March 18th Giant Slalom / Men / 1st run 9:00 - 2nd run 12:00 CET
March 18th Slalom / Women / 1st run 10:30 - 2nd run 13:30 CET
March 19th Giant Slalom / Women / 1st run 9:00 - 2nd run 12:00 CET
March 19th Slalom / Men / 1st run 10:30 - 2nd run 13:30 CET
Grandvalira is located in the northeast of the Principality of Andorra, in the towns of Encamp and Canillo.
In October 2003, SAETDE and ENSISA's general directorates, operating companies of Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig (founded in 1956, when Francesc Viladomat installed the first ski lift at the top of the Coll Blanc in Pas de la Casa) and Soldeu-El Tarter (founded in 1964), announced an expected merger. The union of the Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig ski resorts led to the creation of the largest station in the Pyrenees and one of the largest in Europe, with 210 kilometres of slopes, a total of 128 slopes of all levels and a single ski pass to enjoy the entire ski domain. Since 2011, the ski resort offers skiers a 9.3 km slope, the longest slope of the Pyrenees.
The ski domain can be accessed from six different areas: Encamp (using the Funicamp), Canillo, El Tarter, Soldeu, Grau Roig and Pas de la Casa.
Grandvalira Resorts Andorra is the largest, most modern skiable area in the Pyrenees and one of the largest in Europe, with a total of 303 km of slopes. The company manages all the Andorran ski resorts: Ordino Arcalís, Pal Arinsal, and Grandvalira.
The inclusion of Ordino Arcalís in 2018, and Pal Arinsal in 2022, created a nationwide project whose aim is to further strengthen the presence of Andorra in the skiing world.
With an economic impact of over 420 million euros (2017) Grandvalira Resorts Andorra represents 17% of the gross domestic product of the Principality of Andorra.