Race drama in Val d’Isère

20th December 2009, by Chris Gill

Val d'Isère, France

Val d'Isère, France

It has been an eventful weekend for the World Cup women’s races in Val d’Isère: Saturday’s races were cancelled, then a serious crash delayed Sunday’s super-G race.

Sunday’s race was interrupted when the French skier Marie Marchand-Arvier crashed metres from the finish line. The 20-year-old silver medallist in last season’s World Championships lost control and hit a gate; she had to be helicoptered from the scene. Two-time world champion Anja Paerson also fell, but seems to have escaped serious injury.

The race later resumed and was won by the home nation. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten 28 took her first World Cup victory in four years – her last medal being bronze in Bad Kleinkirchheim.

Britain’s Chemmy Alcott has also had a good weekend: she came 16th in Sunday’s super-G and an impressive ninth in Friday’s super-combined (won by Lyndsey Vonn).

Sunday’s drama followed disappointment for the racers on Saturday, when the downhill event was cancelled due to poor weather. Despite modifications to the course at La Daille, it was declared too windy to ski.

Conditions remain changeable in Val d’Isère at present, with more snow forecast and strong north-westerly winds. But most lifts are open and 61 of the 82 pistes.

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