After the men’s World Cup was challenged by conditions in Garmisch, Germany, just last week, it’s hardly surprising that the women are experiencing similar issues. They skied only one of two scheduled downhill training runs on the Kandahar track. The second, which had been scheduled for Friday, was canceled to preserve and prepare the course for Saturday’s race.
Preparation that is desperately needed.
“It’s really bally and in some turns there is no surface underneath,” Lindsey Vonn, the leader of the training run, said on Thursday. “Hopefully, tomorrow if it rains, they can maybe work some magic with the hill and I think it’s good that we got a training run in even though it was definitely on the limit of safety.”
Vonn’s sentiments were echoed by Viktoria Rebensburg who was only 0.27 seconds behind her on the training run.
“The track was soft and can still be improved,” the German explained. “The course crew has some work ahead of them. We have two days until the race and I’m sure it will get better. … My parents, my friends and some members of the Fan Club will come watch and support me. I’m really looking forward to the race at home. I hope that the conditions will be good on race day.”
Behind the two veterans was World Cup rookie, Breezy Johnson, coming in third place in the training run. The American skier has had a strong season, winning a recent Europa Cup in Zauchensee, Austria, but has never cracked the top 30 in a World Cup downhill.
Lara Gut of Switzerland ended up 40th in the training run after missing gates, but is looking to get her second downhill win of the season and close the gap for the overall title, which Lindsey Vonn currently leads by 45 points. France’s Romane Miradoli, Canada’s Larisa Yurkiw and several others all missed gates in part due to the rugged conditions.
Austria’s Cornelia Huetter and the Canadian are also in the hunt for podium finishes. Both have been on the podium three times this season in downhill.
Fans will find out how the downhill track has held up come Saturday morning. The race is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. CET.
Beyond this weekend, FIS has announced there will also be a new addition to the women’s World Cup schedule. The canceled Maribor slalom has be rescheduled for Crans Montana, Switzerland, on Feb. 15, 2016.
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|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.|
|43||51||206548||MAGG Ann Katrin||1994||GER||1:53.51||+4.01|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|