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Kitzbuehel: Big snow a worry, but FIS officials optimistic for races

Kitzbuehel: Big snow a worry, but FIS officials optimistic for races{mosimage}KITZBUEHEL, Austria – Organizers and jury members warned the World Cup’s coaches to expect more bad weather in the coming days, but expressed some optimism about getting the Hahnenkamm races off this weekend.

‘Things are looking better for tomorrow and into the weekend’ said FIS technical delegate Greg Johnson, who is the first American-born official to serve in that role at the world’s most famous ski race. ‘But we’ll see. Mother Nature showed us who was boss today.’

Organizers said 40-60 centimeters (16-24 inches) fell on the Streif course on Tuesday night and Wednesday. They cleaned it from the race line completely, three times, but the snow kept on coming.

‘There were heavy winds on the top part, and the lower you go on the mountain the more moisture there is’ said Guenter Hujara, the FIS race director for men’s World Cup. ‘It will snow until 7 [p.m.] and then slowly decrease through the night.’

Snowcats will get on the hill at 2 or 3 a.m., and ‘all manpower’ will be in place working at 5 a.m. on Thursday.

‘We have huge amounts of snow in the spill zones’ said Hujara.

Fritz Strobl of Austria won Tuesday’s training run. Wednesday’s run was canceled because of the storm. Races are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

‘There are temperature fluctuations all night’ said Hujara, ‘so even if we clear the slope, we may not use it because we might want to keep it in good condition for the super G on Friday.’

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