The ski resort of Le Grand Bornand has today received great news with the release of the IBU (International Biathlon Union) Calendar for all World Cup events until 2025!
After successfully hosting 3 stages of the Biathlon World Cup in recent years, the village of Grand Bornand has now been confirmed as a permanent fixtures on the calendar for years to come.
Dates for the following years World Cup Biathlon stages are as follows:-
IBU Biathlon World Cup Stages in Le Grand Bornand
- 13th – 19th December 2021
- 12th – 18th December 2022
- 16th – 22nd December 2024
- 15th – 21st December 2025
NB – During 2023 – the stage switches to Lenzerheide in advance of the World Championships being held there in 2025.
The Biathlon event is always hosted in December and just before the start of the alpine ski season, giving the village a real pre-season boost and a chance to showcase the village on the world stage.
During the week, the village plays host to over 60,000 spectators from all across the world, and the event is live on Eurosport.
It demonstrates the appeal of cross-country skiing and the Nordic disciplines to a global audience.
The event provides an exciting buzz around the village, and the atmosphere increases throughout the week in advance of the finals which take place at the weekend.
Grand Bornand is adept at hosting international sporting events and has the experience and infrastructure to make them work well.
The biathlon stadium (for the shooting element) is also used as the Tour de France finishing line, and Grand Bo is a regular stage host of Le Tour – the world-famous event which draws thousands of cycling fans to the village during the summer.
What is Biathlon?
Biathlon is one of the competitive disciplines of cross-country skiing, whereby the competitors combine skiing and rifle shooting within a race environment. It is an Olympic event and has featured in the Winter Olympics since 1960.
Biathlon is of Norwegian origin and is a development of military training combining the need for speed and physical fitness for the ski racing with the control, calm breathing and steady-hand required for the accurate target shooting.
The race consists of several laps of a cross-country course with a shooting round in between each loop. The shooting round is taken half in prone position, the other half standing – and the competitors must carry their rifle with them at all times during the race.
When shooting – the aim is to hit five targets on the rifle range, and for each missed target there is a time or distance penalty added to the skiing element. Often in World Cup events this is a 150m additional loop which must be skied before they head off on the main ski trail.
The races can be organised into several categories – such as Individual (20km for men, 15km for women), Sprint (10km for men, 7.5km for women), Pursuit and Mass Start – as well as versions of Relay and Team Mixed Relays.
Grand Bornand Cross Country Skiing
There is a large network of cross-country skiing trails in the village of Le Grand Bornand and a whole dedicated Nordic domain, ski school, hire shops etc.
The French call is “ski de fond” and it’s a big part of the winter sports scene in France.
Find details of the cross country skiing on the Grand Bornand website
The biathlon course in Grand Bornand runs a couple of kilometres around the heart of the village, and features the Stade Sylvie Beceart (named after the local champion- see below).
Given that its on the doorstep of the village centre, it provides a perfect place to watch the sporting action with many viewing points accessible for free in addition to the stands and stadium that are constructed around the shooting arena and the start/finish line.
Grand Bornand Champions
Grand Bornand has a strong pedigree of National and World Champions in several disciplines of cross-country skiing.
Sylvie Beceart is certainly one of the most successful champions of ;Ski Club Grand Bo’ and won Silver (2010) and Bronze (2006) Olympic medals, as well as Gold at the World Champs in both 2003 and 2009.
She is now an instructor of both Alpine and Ski De Fond with the ESF in Le Grand Bornand – so you really couldn’t be in better hands than with an ex-Olympic champion teaching you to ski!
If you are interested in coming to stay with us and watch any Biathlon event in Le Grand Bornand then please contact us for further information. We can provide details on all aspects of your holiday, and are happy to discuss your requirements and offer suggestions.