Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in Bormio with the Downhill taking place next Wednesday. The slope "Stelvio" is the perfect venue for the annual men's downhill race. By unanimous opinion, alongside Kitzbuhel, this is absolutely the most spectacular and technically difficult course. 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. "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 snow surface is perfect, with much natural snow, then some warm weather, and again cold. The artificial snow just added the perfect touch and the Stelvio, this winter, will be smoother than the last few years. Maybe a bit easier with less bumps. Racers will feel just a bit less of fatigue, but it’s the FIS Course Setter Helmuth Schmalzl the man who could decide how difficult the course could be. Bormio hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1985 and 2005, as well as the World Cup Finals in 1995 and 2000.
The skiing area of Bormio, with more than 50 kilometres of slopes and 17 skilifts (A cableway, two aerial cable cars, seven chair lifts and seven ski tows) with a capacity of 14.000 persons/hour come up to most skiers expectations. Skipasses are available for the skiarea "4 Valli" –free bus service-, which are valid for the area Bormio, Livigno, S. Colombano (Oga and Valdidentro) and Santa Caterina. The skiing-mountain San Colombano hosts the slopes of the Valdidentro, which are in a very sunny position and connect to the Valdisotto (Oga). Offering a great panoramic alpine view, these sunny slopes invite to enjoy and ski. San Colombano offers 25 kilometres of slopes and 10 skilifts. Santa Caterina's slopes are exposed to the north, thanks to that fact skiers will find ideal snow conditions the whole winter season. 35 kilometres of slopes are to be reached by 7 skilifts. Livigno is a true skiing paradise, with 33 modern ski lifts and 115 kilometres of ski runs on six different slopes, all at an altitude of between 2000 and 3000 meters.
Bormio lies at the top of the Valtellina Valley formed by the Adda River. The Valtellina ski area is a component of five large skiing areas with 400 kilometres of pistes and 140 ski lifts: Alta Valtellina, Tirano, Sondrio and Valmalenco, Morbegno and Valchiavenna. Bormio with nearly two thousand years of history, has well established itself as tourist resort for more than a century. It is situated at an altitude of 1225 metres, right in the heart of the Italian Alps in the region Lombardy and has 4100 inhabitants. At the feet of the Stelvio Pass and the Ortler-Cevedale mountain range, Bormio is close to the Swiss border. It is surrounded by a limestone mountain-range with the main peak "Reit", which is 3075 metres high. The historical centre of Bormio is one of the most important of the whole province as well as one of the best preserved ones in the Alps.