MARIBOR, Slovenia (AP) — Organizers cancelled a women’s World Cup slalom after 25 starters on Sunday because the deteriorating course made a fair race impossible.
Days of mild temperatures softened the Radvanje course, which started to wear soon after the race started.
The snow surface broke in many spots after just a few skiers had completed their runs. Rainfall further affected the conditions.
According to the athletes’ representative, Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic, most skiers didn’t want the race to be started.
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“It’s always difficult to decide whether a race should take place or not,” Strachova said. “I spoke with several racers. Most of them were against it, some coaches as well. But (skiing’s governing body) FIS and organizers wanted to stage the race at all costs.”
Strachova, who wore bib No. 4, said the course was only good enough for the early starters.
“The lower number definitely was an advantage,” the 2007 world slalom champion said. “Of course it’s not fair.”
FIS and local organizers suspended the race after 25 starters to allow course workers on the piste, before calling off the event just minutes later.
Strachova and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland both timed 49.60 seconds to lead Slovak pair Petra Vhlova and Veronika Velez-Zuzulova by 0.09 and 0.30, respectively, when the race was cancelled.
The situation was similar to five years ago, when a giant slalom here was called off after 25 starters for the same reason.
It wasn’t immediately clear if FIS would reschedule the race. The calendar contains just one more weekend of women’s technical races before the World Cup finals — in Jasna, Slovakia, on March 5-6.
The women’s World Cup continues next weekend with a downhill and a super-G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where a men’s giant slalom was also called off Sunday because of bad weather.