The international biathlon site
A biathlon stadium accessible all year round
The international biathlon stadium of Bessans is located in the heart of the resort, in front of the Carreley reception building and just next to the Barmettes site which allows the practice of ice climbing in winter.
The stadium has 30 targets and is accessible in winter and summer. In summer, the asphalt tracks allow the practice of ski wheels and roller skating. The professional biathlon teams come to train all year round in Bessans to take advantage of the natural assets of the resort: altitude, a plateau that allows for fundamental work, the Iseran pass that is accessible by wheel-skiing or biking in the summer, the possibility of numerous activities to vary training (mountain biking at the Chantelouve area, hiking on the Vanoise National Park side or towards Avérole...). Bessans is also the first French Nordic resort to open every year. Thanks to the snowfarming technique, a track is accessible from November and the professional teams meet every year in Bessans to enjoy the snow and the quality of the international biathlon stadium.
1st French international stadium
The Bessans International Biathlon Stadium was created in 1998. A logical project in view of the natural assets of Bessans (high plateau and excellent natural snow cover) supported by the Community of Communes Haute Maurienne and supported by the medal-winning athlete Hervé Flandin, a native of the valley.
Even if biathlon had already been highlighted thanks to the good results of the French athletes at the Albertville Olympics, it was not yet as popular as it is today. With this international stadium, the first one created in France, Bessans was a pioneer resort in this complete and spectacular sport. A biathlon stadium that also allowed Bessans to enrich its vast Nordic ski area.
Discover the history of Nordic skiing in Bessans as told by its inhabitants
National and international competitions are regularly organized on the biathlon stadium and on the Nordic domain. Each season, Bessans opens the French Nordic competition season with the stages of the SAMSE National Tour biathlon and cross-country skiing (French Cup). These competitions take place at the beginning of December thanks to the good snow conditions of Bessans and its early opening every year thanks to the snowfarming. A few weeks later, it's the big event of the winter with the Bessans International Marathon which welcomes in early January more than a thousand cross-country skiers in classic or skating.
In summer, Bessans also hosts "biathlon ski-wheel" competitions such as the Biathlon Summer Tour or the Bessans Biathlon Contest. The French biathlon teams who also come to Bessans for a summer training session offer demonstrations and races on the stadium.
Finally, Bessans has already hosted the French Nordic Ski and Biathlon Championships. A major competition that will be held again in Bessans from March 31 to April 2, 2023. A great show to come on the biathlon stadium!
New projects for the site
Since its creation, the international biathlon stadium of Bessans has been in constant evolution thanks to the requests of the sports teams. Development and modernization projects for the stadium and the entire Nordic area are currently being studied and are estimated at between 2 and 3 million euros. With the creation of trails of higher difficulty on the Nordic area, the redesign of the coated trails, the upgrading of the targets of the international stadium, the development of water and electricity networks, the increase in the number of snow guns, new equipment for snowfarming ... But also the diversification for an increasingly fun use of the Nordic site or the creation of a new technical building and reception at the entrance of the stadium.
Test the biathlon
In Bessans, take advantage of the international stadium to try biathlon with the resort's professionals. Test laser rifle or pellet rifle supervised for a practice in full safety:
Laser shooting: free and fun introduction to biathlon