Fog cancels Sölden race

25th October 2010, by Chris Gill

The race course last year - can't see it on the cams this year!

The race course last year - can't see it on the cams this year!

The first men’s FIS World Cup race of the season, the giant slalom in Sölden Austria, was cancelled on Sunday due to thick fog.

It was the big opening race of the new season, but Sölden officials called it off after the first run, when visibility on the Rettenbach glacier worsened. Weather conditions were already poor when the racers gathered at the start gate, but a few made it down the bumpy course before it was declared too dangerous to continue.

As is the rule with FIS opening / closing races, the giant slalom will not be rescheduled. So, a disappointing start for the athletes raring to kick off their competition.

Defending champion Ted Ligety of the US was within .02 seconds of Frenchman Cyprien Richard’s first run lead when the race was stopped. Bode Miller was also competing, and got down the first run in 23rd place. They all described the conditions as tough, trying to hold a line through the bumpy piste – ‘The whole way down was pretty tough. The visibility wasn’t great today and the snow was chunky,’ said Ligety. What’s more Sölden has gained another 32cm fresh snow since then too.

Luckily the women’s races did go ahead as planned, taking place on the 23 October. The German women’s alpine skiing team won podium spots in Saturday’s giant slalom race: 2010 Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg celebrated her first victory in a World Cup race, while Kathrin Hölzl, took second position.

The next events will take place in a couple of weeks, much further north in Finland. Levi will host the men and women’s slalom races on 11-13 November. But all eyes will be on the next biggie in the downhill calendar: Lake Louise – where the races traditionally head the season opening events there in December.

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