The Men’s Downhill, Giant Slalom, and Super-G scheduled for Beaver Creek at the start of December have been cancelled because of lack of snow in North America and switched to Val d’Isere.
Right now the French resort has some of the best conditions in the world with a settled 60cm in town and 90cm on the glacier – and much more snow on the way over this weekend. It’s also guaranteed snow right from the start of the season after recently installing the largest snow-making operation in Europe, and is also uniquely positioned for race preparation.
The plan is for the races to take place between Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4 on the Oreiller-Killy (OK) race course, which stretches from the top of Bellevarde down to La Daille. The schedule for the races will shortly be confirmed by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Pisteurs in Val d’Isere have already been hard at work on the mountain in preparation for the 61st Critérium de la Première Neige. This takes place December 9-18 and features Men’s World Cup Races on the Face de Bellevarde and Women’s races on the OK course.
A recent shift in weather patterns has brought snow and colder temperatures to Beaver Creek Resort and the Vail Valley. However, winter conditions did not arrive in time to allow race crews to create the demanding, 2620m-long Birds of Prey course.
“Beaver Creek typically has some of the best early-season conditions in the world and a remarkably sophisticated snowmaking system. However, the cold weather did not come in time this year,” said Mike Imhof, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation.
Officials from the FIS inspected the courses in Val d’Isère yesterday (November 18) and commented on the excellent snow conditions and advanced state of preparation.
Vincent Jay, director of Val d’Isère’s Club des Sports, said: “Firstly, we’re really sad for our friends in Beaver Creek. We know too well all the hard work that has to go into organizing a World Cup ski race and the loss in energy, time, and money that a cancellation represents. Ski racing is has been in our genes for the past 60 years. In the past we have organized countless World Cup races and we can do this at short notice when we have to. We are proud to meet the challenge of organizing eight races in three weeks.”
Michel Vion, president of the French Ski Federation commented: “The ski industry in France and everywhere else in the world is delighted that Val d’Isère has risen to the challenge and thanks the FIS for giving it the opportunity. It’s crucial for the World Cup that it sticks to the scheduled calendar, even if this means some last-minute changes. So, for three weeks World Cup Alpine skiing will be centred on Val d’Isère. I’m certain that the resort will produce some great races. “
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