Tuesday’s downhill training scrapped | VailDaily.com

Tuesday’s downhill training scrapped

Ian Cropp
SPT Birds Prep1 KH 11-28-06

BEAVER CREEK – Another World Cup event was canceled Tuesday, but this time for a less troubling reason.While European World Cup venues lack snow, the only American stop on the men’s tour – Beaver Creek – received nearly two feet from late Monday through most of Tuesday, causing the first day of men’s downhill training to be scrapped.Event organizers were unable to clear the vast amounts of snow from a hard-packed Birds of Prey course.”It was too much snow,” said chief of race Jim Roberts. “Even if we had taken care of the snow, the visibility wasn’t there.”Race crews slipped areas with low avalanche danger Tuesday, prepping for snow cats and winch cats to work through the night.

“With that in mind, and looking at the forecast, we think we have a very, very good chance to have a good training run tomorrow,” Roberts said.More snow was in the forecast for today with a cold front arriving after. Today’s downhill run is scheduled to start at noon, with four Americans starting in the top 30.”We may decide for a delay if we are not ready in the morning,” said Gunter Hujara, International Ski Federation chief race director for the men. “With 95 racers on the board (for training), we need almost two hours, so that also limits our time on the hill.”If today’s training run is canceled, FIS will forgo Thursday’s super combined for another downhill training run, as the rules stipulate racers must have one day of downhill training before racing. The downhill training run will determine the race start order.

Warm conditions continued in Val d’Isere, France Tuesday, where a pair of men’s races are scheduled for Dec. 9-10. Today, FIS will announce whether or not the races will be canceled, and if those races, along with the already-canceled women’s races from St. Mortiz, Switzerland, will be rescheduled at either Beaver Creek or Aspen next Thursday and Friday.”The finance side of the picture … is not done yet,” Hujara said. “We still have to negotiate.”No powder daysMany racers welcomed a day off the hill, and did some dry-land training to acclimate better to the altitude.

“We needed the day off. They put the schedule pretty tightly. We fly out (of Lake Louise, Alberta,) Monday morning and are training Tuesday morning,” said Erik Guay of Canada. “Everybody I talked to was pumped about it.”American racers Steve Nyman, Ted Ligety, Bode Miller, Scott Macartney, T.J. Lanning and Erik Fisher traveled to Keystone, where they got in a few runs on their exclusive hill, Starfire.On the front side of Keystone, Italy’s Alessandro Roberto won his second NorAm giant slalom in as many days. Steve Missilier of France was second, while teammates Gauthier DeTessieres and Joel Chenal tied for third. American Erik Schlopy took fifth.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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