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Spindleruv Mlyn: First alpine World Cup races ever in the Czech Republic

Spindleruv Mlyn: First alpine World Cup races ever in the Czech Republic{mosimage}This week the women’s World Cup has made its way all the way across Europe to Spindleruv Mlyn, in the Czech Repulic, for a pair of tech races. It is the first time that the alpine World Cup will travel to the country. ‘They have a good organizing committee there, and the whole town is standing behind the races there’ said Atle Skaardal, the FIS race director for the women’s World Cup tour.

Czechoslovakia peacefully split apart in 1993, forming Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Neither nation has hosted an alpine World Cup in the intervening 13 years, although the Spindleruv Mlyn venue had tried to host a race in the 2003-2004 season. That race was cancelled due to a lack of snow.

‘I hope they have more success than last time, when they were unlucky and had to cancel the race’ said Skaardal. ‘I really hope they can have enough cold weather…They are really motivated.’

The Czech Republic won a surprise world championship slalom medal last year.

‘The hill is quite steep’ said Skaardal. ‘It’s not so steep on the top, but from the slalom start down it’s very steep. There’s the same gradient a lot of the time. You need some more terrain, but if we can make snow then maybe it’s possible to do something during course preparations.’

The terrain is good’ said Herbert Mandl, the Austrian women’s head coach. ‘It’s quite challenging. For a women’s race, it’s pretty good. It’s mixed. There are steep parts, and flat parts.’

The women will race a giant slalom on Wednesday followed by a slalom on Thursday. The men will be racing simultaneously in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. After that the World Cup takes a Christmas holiday.

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