Opening world championship races fall foul of weather

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(Reuters) - The opening women's combined race at the Alpine skiing world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo was postponed on Monday, and Tuesday's men's super-G shifted to Thursday, due to heavy overnight snow in the Italian Dolomites.

Organisers had already reversed the order of the combined as a precaution, with the technical slalom leg brought forward to precede the super-G in the two-part event.

They said the work required on the slope forced them to postpone the event to next Monday, Feb. 15, which had been scheduled as a rest day.

"I didn't sleep that much, it was a long night. When we saw at three o'clock that it was snowing so heavy, we were quite sure that it would be very difficult," said women's race director Peter Gerdol.

He said volunteers were working to prepare the courses for Tuesday.

Gerdol had expressed confidence in both super-Gs going ahead on Tuesday but the men's race was subsequently postponed to Thursday in place of first downhill training which was cancelled.

The women's super-G was given a new start time of 1200GMT, with Italy's Marta Bassino scheduled to be first on the Olympia delle Tofane slope.

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami, winner of the last four women's World Cup super-G races, will start seventh.

Reigning world champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States will be 10th out of the hut in her first super-G start in more than a year.

The championships are going ahead without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ed Osmond and Ken Ferris)