Serre Chevalier has decided to go “Back to the Future!”! In 2017 the resort revamped an event that had its heyday in the late 80s, the famous SERRE CHEVALIER GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE.
From 1986 to 1989, this event came to epitomize an incredible period in the world of snow sports.
On Saturday 18 March 2017, a revamped version of the event made its BIG comeback. Open to all, it was a huge success, with over 800 participants, and the resort is keen to renew the experience. So all you crazy, fun loving and competitive skiers: save the date! Saturday, March 17, 2018!!
Thirty years ago, the Serre Chevalier Grand Prix was a pioneering event that left a lasting impression on an entire generation. From 1986 to 1989, the pioneers of snowboarding (known as snow “surfing” at that time) came together for the event. The great names of the discipline came to race the derby from the top of the legendary Cucumelle all the way to the foot of the resort, setting off in groups of 15. As well as the "derby" race, the Grand Prix mixed different events like downhill, Freestyle, super giant slalom ... All these events combined formed the Grand Prix with the overall winner designated overall CHAMPION.
In the main Grand Prix derby race, there were few or even no rules, apart from crossing the start and finish lines. “May the best man (or woman) win” was the war cry ... or maybe not. The main point of the race was to have "fun”. Those enthusiastic trailblazers wrote the first pages of a really great story.
In 1989, the event was in its heyday and went so far as to offer a Citroën car to the winner. Under the impetus of Thierry d'Ornano (Race organiser at the time) and several local figures, the event put Serre Chevalier in the spotlight for 4 years, earning the resort a reputation as a trailblazer. Any French snowboard geek will tell you, the "Serre Chevalier Grand Prix de France " was the forerunner, the beginning, the first chapter of a story ready to be written... a time when “Doux et Dingue” was the slogan of the resort, its meaning combing both the wild, crazy side and wonderfully chilled ambiance of the resort. A great story that did not deserve to be left to gather dust ...
The event was extremely successful from 1986 to 1989, but was to lose momentum in the following years. However, thanks to the SCV ski area and the Like That events agency, directed by Gaylord Pedretti from Serre Chevalier, the "Serre Chevalier Grand Prix " made a MEGA comeback in 2017. Thirty years on from those glory days the Like That events agency, keen to reignite the spark in Serre Chevalier, decided to revive a whole era. Many local figures that had known the "Doux et Dingue ” years and / or the beginnings of the Grand Prix have also been involved in the adventure. The aim of everyone involved is to ensure that, over the years, this event becomes one of the resorts major attractions again. Every ISO (Identified Sliding Objects) known to man (skis, snowboards, telemarking, monoskis, snowscoot, tandem ...) is there and every generation is represented.
The whole idea was crazy but it inspired just as much craziness and passion, bringing together 800 competitors and delivering its promise of "the country's craziest race". The format of the event is somewhere between a derby, an enduro, an orienteering race, a marathon, a rally, a "Mud Day" type obstacle course ... There are two types of course, where you choose to ski in either “Doux” (cruise) or “Dingue“( crazy) mode, both of them strewn with all kinds of obstacles and difficulties. Some participants are there to win, others have come purely for the fun, everyone from 7 to 77 years can take part, and that is probably what gives the event its charm and success.
The concept has evolved, but the basic ingredients have stayed the same: A single starting point and a single finish line with any number of possibilities of getting from one to the other. In its latest incarnation, the event can be enjoyed by the widest spectrum of participants, with the choice between 2 fun courses, 1 for the Dingues "crazies" and 1 for the Doux “cruisers”. Both courses, for individual participants or teams of two, extend over the Briançon, Chantemerle, Villeneuve & Monêtier ski areas. This is what the magic of the Serre Chevalier Grand Prix is all about.
The "Parcours des Dingues" is aptly named, but you can do it in "hyper" crazy mode, “chill” crazy or just plain old crazy. It is not for those who want to straight line it top to bottom, but for those who ski well both on and off piste, it is an all-terrain course for the over 14s (parental permission is mandatory for minors). This is the longest course and you will discover the whole ski area with some well-known "off piste" runs in the “brut de neige” areas (DVA & helmet mandatory). After waking you up with a good "workout" to start, with a wall of moguls & a boardercross, we have planned an "Awesome Super G" trail, somewhere between a small freeride and a full-on red run. It's like a Super Giant slalom, except it's Awesome. The whole racecourse and difficulties will be revealed at D Day -4. To make your mouth water, here is a preview of some of the events of this 2018 edition: « La Course Qui Compte Pas Pour Des Prunes », « La Méga Draye », « Puissance 10 » « Opération Jackson » or « Very Good Tripes ». ("Not for Plums", "The Mega Draye", "Level 10" "Operation Jackson" or " Very Good Tripes”). You can stock up on goodies and refreshments at the various supply zones along the route. No need to be a hardcore freerider, freestyler or free-whatever ... the “Dingues” course will not take you over a big air, or down a steep couloir ... yep, it's a crazy race but one for all decent skiers, snowboarders, and especially those who are not afraid of leg burn, because all the obstacles and difficulties make the race intense and crazy!
The important thing is to participate in the Serre Chevalier Grand Prix... and with a smile! So you can come to win or just for the fun!
The “Parcours des Doux” targets a wider audience (for kids over 8 years old), but it is still a super fun course and it will not be a simple walk in the park; we have some surprises in store! You will mainly ski on blue runs and some red runs, with several special stages over the whole ski area in Chantemerle, Briançon, Villeneuve & Monetier. The 2018 edition Doux course will be a little gentler than the 2017 edition, but more fun. Do not plan on skiing fast all the way... because on several portions you will have to ski neither too fast, nor too slow; ) The start will be in groups of 8 so you can ski the race with your friends or parents if you like. You can stock up on refreshments and goodies at the various food stops along the way, and we are sure you will enjoy the race whether you are accompanying your children or you are with a group of mates. The whole race course and difficulties will be revealed at D Day -4. To make your mouth water, here is a preview of some of the events of this 2018 edition: “ Hot Dogue” « l’Arrêt Briançonnais », « A fond les ballons », « La Course Qui Compte Pas Pour Des Prunes », « Le Derby de la Neige »,« le Border King » ou encore « Very Good Tripes » (“Hot Dog” “The Briançon Stop”, “ Speed Balls”, “Not for Plums", "The Snow Derby" “ the Boarder King” or " Very Good Tripes”).
You will slip, slide, sometimes have to push your poles, crawl, run, drink, shoot, aim, .... In short, the 2018 edition has a lot on store for you!
The smallest kids have also got their own races and events at the foot of the slopes in Monêtier-les-Bains.
And for this 2018 edition, two super mums are in charge of organising the Serre Chevalier Mini Grand Prix with the help of the ESF. The Serre Chevalier "Mini" Grand Prix will be open to children from 4 to 9 years old (3 star or bronze crystal level) and will be, just like for the grown-ups, in teams of 2 (helmets mandatory). Kids can choose their teammate whether it’s their the big brother, little sister, their boy or girl friend, best mate, their "Best Friend For Ever", the neighbour from downstairs...
Two words: "fun" and "games". There will obviously be a race ranking, but the most important thing will be joining in the fun, because we have planned some great tests and games:
CoolBoarder / Bob Harley (toboggan race) / Nerf Dechirator / & 1 Quiz "Question for a champion?"
And at the end of the Mini Grand Prix, everyone will get refreshments, goodies and prizes. Don’t worry; they are going to get spoiled!
You can race on your own or in teams of 2, but it is better be part of a team, as the team results will be richly rewarded! And everything is more fun if there are two of you! A team may consist of: 2 Doux or 1 Doux and 1 Dingue or 2 Dingue
A 10 jours de l’évènement le quota d’inscrits a été atteint. Il y aura donc beaucoup de Dingues et de Doux. Vous serez 1501 à participer au Grand Prix de Serre Chevalier cette année. 1501 tout simplement pour aller chatouiller l’Enduro des 3 Vallées qui rassemble 1500 participants et détient le titre symbolique du « plus grand rassemblement de skieurs amateurs dans le monde ». Merci à tous et désolé pour ceux qui n’ont pas pu s’inscrire. Bien entendu, vous pouvez venir assister au départ en haut de la piste de « Mur Chevalier » et/ou à l’arrivée à Monêtier-Les-Bains.
Pour information, le départ des Dingues se fera à partir de 9h et celui des Doux à partir de 10h. Tous les participants recevront sous peu le dépliant explicatif des différents parcours.
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Si vous souhaitez être bénévole pour le Grand Prix de Serre Chevalier,
(Bénévole à partir de 18 ans.)