It’s the countdown to the World Ski Mountaineering Cup

World Cup due to start in Andorra the weekend of 15 and 16 January.

In mid-January, it will be up to Font Blanca, amidst the snow of Andorra, actually in the skiing area of Arcalis and Arinsal, to unveil the new World Ski Mountaineering Cup, organised by ISMF (International Ski Mountaineering Federation). A World Cup in five stages, with the world’s best athletes racing to score precious points to achieve the crystal cup. Andorra, Italy and Switzerland are the countries that will host the five stages of the World Cup, from January to March. The five stages of the World Cup, Andorra 15-16 January, Albosaggia (Italy) 30-31 January, Les Marécottes (Switzerland) 5-7 February, Alpago (Italy) 19-20 February and Prato Nevoso (Italy) 18-20 March, will include five Individual Races, three Vertical Races and four Sprint Race.
Each stage of the World Cup will host 13/15 countries where the “Alpine” countries, such as France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, that have a deeply rooted tradition in “sealskin”, earn more gold medals.  Not to mention the huge efforts made by the youth teams of Spain, Andorra, Norway and Sweden. Athletes from Canada, USA, Korea and Japan will also take part in some stages of the World Cup and in the winners’ championships.
Last season’s winners have joined in for 2016 as well, so champions such as the Italian Damiano Lenzi, winner of the Overall World Cup, and the French Laetitia Roux, who practically never left the podium in 2015, will be at the starting line in Andorra too.
Other athletes include the French William Bon Mardion (winner of the Individual World Cup), the Italian Robert Antonioli (winner of the Sprint World Cup), the Spanish Kilian Jornet Burgada (winner of the Vertical World Cup), who, after a summer spent touring the mountains all over the world as a climber and a sky-runner, now wants to win the Individual World Cup that he lost by a hair’s breadth last year. Outsiders include the German Josef Rottmoser, a Sprint Race specialist, and the young Anton Palzer, the Italian Matteo Eydallin and Michele Boscacci, and the French Xavier Gachet.
On the women’s side, the magic Laetitia Roux will have to defend herself from the attacks of her teammate, Axelle Mollaret, the Swiss Jennifer Fiechter, the Swedish Emelie Forsberg, the Spanish Marta Riba Carlos and the Swiss Victoria Kreuzer.
In 2016, the partnership between ISMF and Infront Sports&Media has got stronger; after the first year of trial, the Swiss company, world leader in sports marketing and broadcasting rights for the most important sports events, will take care of the broadcasting and sponsors of the World Cup. A leading partner, to give more visibility and a professional outlook to a sport that aspires to become an Olympic sport.
After the 2013-2015’s three-year racing season, the three sponsors involved in all of the World Cup stages, Scarpa, Montura and Polartec, will be there again, next year, as major partners of the World Cup. In addition to such three partners, an important agreement has been entered into with Intersport over the last few days. The international retail leader will be the World Cup’s “Presenting Sponsor”. 

INTERSPORT the world’s leading sports retail brand with 5’500 stores in 44 countries and EUR 10.4 billion retail sales in 2014 will be the Presenting Sponsor of the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup in 2015/2016.
Winter sport is and remains one of the major product categories for INTERSPORT and therefore this sponsorship agreement is a logical complement of INTERSPORT involvements in events like FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, FIS Nordic Ski World Championships and FIS Ski Jumping Four Hills Tournament.

SCARPA, world leader in the production of mountain shoes, will be the Presenting Sponsor of disciplines Sprint and Vertical.
Offering a 360° range, the company currently proposes dedicated product lines for Ski Mountaineering, as well as Telemark, Freeride, High Altitude and Mountain, Hiking-Trekking, Outdoor-Walking-Travel and Climbing.

Official Sponsors

POLARTEC, LLC is the premium provider of innovative textile solutions. Since inventing modern synthetic fleece in 1981, the engineers at Polartec continue to push the limits of fabric technology. Today, Polartec supplies the world with the most advanced fabric innovations. Polartec products range from advanced lightweight wicking fabric, to insulation and weather protection textiles and are utilized by leading apparel brands, the U.S. military and other global militaries, flame resistance, work wear, and contract upholstery markets.

MONTURA, leading technical apparel brand for mountaineering and outdoor activities, with a strong presence in a variety of disciplines as ski mountaineiring, climbing, high-altitude and trail running, sailing, or mountaineering.

Individual Race
This takes elements from the team race, but is based on the single individual athlete. Again there will be at least 3 ascents and descents. As with the team event there will also be a section on foot with the skis carried on the rucksack, although some ISMF events no longer use harness and cord, they still might have to use crampons for steeper, icier ascents. Races normally last from one and a half to two hours and cover a total hight gain of up to 1900m. As with the team events the race start is a mass start of all the athletes.

Vertical Race
As the tile suggests the vertical race is an uphill only event. It is usually carried out on well packed snow with the whole race taking place with skins under the skis in a single, long ascent. It is a race to the top, and should not exceed a height gain of more than 700m.

Sprint Race
This is a mini Individual race, combining the essential ski mountaineering features and techniques  with an ascent on skins, part of the ascent on foot with skis on the rucksack and then from the top a single descent. As the title implies this is a very fast race, and is based on completing the total course in approximately 3 minutes for the fastest racers. The total ascent and descent is about 100m, with athletes starting and finishing in almost the same point. The first round is an individual qualification with athletes starting one after the other every 20 seconds, after the qualifying round athletes face each other in heats of 6. Although the ascent is usually on well packed snow , the descent is supposed to be fun and can be off-piste, with gates and with small jumps.

About ISMF
The International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) is the world governing body of Ski Mountaineering based in Lausanne (CH) and Villanova Mondovì (Italy).  As a non-profit association it co-ordinates and promotes all matters in respect to the sport and its competitions, consisting of 31 National Federations from Europe, Asia, North America and South America. The ISMF Series of events includes the World Cup held annually, the ISMF World Championships held biennially on odd years and the Continental Championships also staged on a biennial basis held on even years. For further information please visit www.ismfskievents.com

About Infront Sports & Media
Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football and summer sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 160 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of experienced staff working from 25 offices across 12 countries, delivering 4,000 event days of top class sport around the world every year.


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