Men’s Alpine races reshuffled

Race organisers have been forced to shuffle the schedule for the men's Alpine skiing events at the Winter Olympics after bad weather led to the postponement of Tuesday's planned super combined race.


The super combined event, which mixes a downhill with a slalom run, will now be held on Sunday.

The men's giant slalom, which was planned for Sunday, now moves to Tuesday, February 23.

The women's races, which are due to start with Wednesday's downhill, remain unchanged.

Alpine venue manager Peter Bosinger said the changes were necessary to ensure a safe and fair competition, with the speed events taking priority over the technical ones to limit damage to the course.

The slaloms, with skiers competing on a course that quickly becomes rutted as they twist and turn, use the lower part of the downhill piste where the snow is softest.

"We always plan for the speed events first and we start at the top of the mountain and work our way down," he said.

"Currently that's still the plan we are working with and we feel confident we can accomplish that."

"We've had close to a metre of snow over the past few days and that takes time to prepare the racetrack so we can have conditions suitable for racing," he added.

A steady flow of volunteer workers, some clutching shovels, tramped through the slush before taking the gondola up the hill behind him while others skied down after completing their shifts.

Cloud shrouded the top of the hill on Tuesday morning, with smoke-like wisps further down and a fresh sprinkling of snow over the surrounding forest.

"We are looking at tomorrow as a clear day, cooling tonight. We'll have great conditions for the (women's) race tomorrow," said Bosinger.

Men's race director Guenther Hujara said he was quite sure organisers could deliver the speed events without further re-scheduling: "It seems to be okay for super-G on Friday and Sunday looks good too now."

The men will also have a super combined downhill training run pencilled in for Saturday.

The changes will cause some logistical problems for teams.

The speed skiers, many of whom had been due to leave the village after Friday's men's super-G to make room for those competing in technical disciplines, will now have to wait until Sunday's combined.

"They (the teams) will delay them coming in and stay in the locations where they are training and then arrive in time for the giant slalom," said Bosinger.

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and EurosportHD (Sky 412). British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

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