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Second Val d´Isere downhill cancelled due to weather

Second Val d´Isere downhill cancelled due to weather{mosimage}VAL D’ISERE, France, December 19, 2004 – Heavy snow falls Sunday wiped out a women’s World Cup downhill for the second day in a row.

‘We didn’t have any chance at all to run the race today,” said Alex Hoedlemoser, the speed coach from the U.S. Ski Team women. “The wind yesterday destroyed the A-netting towers and with 2 meters of snow drifts you couldn’t even see the B nets. They would have had to tear them down and groom it. It cleared off a little bit yesterday evening and we thought maybe but then one a half feet of snow came down this morning.”

The women had been scheduled to race back-to-back downhills at this classic
French resort but after two training sessions in perfect conditions, poor
weather moved in Friday, forcing organizers to scrap final practice and then both downhill races Saturday and Sunday.

‘I was really, really (upset) it got cancelled, but what can you do,” said Bryna McCarty, the winner of a training run earlier this week. “But I know that I can be competitive at this level.”

High winds throughout the weekend created snow drifts that buried both A and B-netting along the piste. Course workers desperately attempted to fix the situation but to no avail. Seven kilometers of B-netting needed to be pulled out in order to allow workers to remove all the snow, then reinstalled.

The International Ski Federation did not yet know when or where the downhill
would be rescheduled. It denied rumors San Sicario had been awarded one of
the races but said the resort might be considered if its cable car is
homologated and it gets its snow cannons running.

Santa Catarina, the stage of the women’s races at the upcoming Bormio world championships, is scheduled to hold a Europa Cup downhill and super-G from Jan. 3-6.

An off weekend for the World Cup women’s field, many of them will likely be competing in the Europe Cup races anyway to get familiar with the piste ahead of the worlds.

San Sicario could be another alternative. The Italian resort is staging a downhill, a super-G, a slalom and a combined from Feb. 25-27.

–Bill McCollom and Alpine Canada Alpin contributed this report

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