Photo by Matt Inden
Big snow leads to cancelled men's super combined races
December 4, 2008 —
Big snow always seems to come during the annual Birds of Prey men’s World Cup races at Beaver Creek. With the snow comes low visibility, and the result is that today’s men’s World Cup super combined races have been cancelled.
Today’s other events, however, are still a go, including this evening's public athlete and bib presentation and celebration at 5:30 p.m. at the base of the Centennial lift in Beaver Creek.
Race crews at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup have a stellar record of keeping the course clear when inevitable big snow comes to Beaver Creek during the early December races, but there’s only so much they can do.
World Cup racers can attain speeds nearing 70 mph on Beaver Creek’s world renown downhill course, a shorter version of which is used for the super combined races. Super combined is a one-day event which includes one run of downhill and one of slalom – the man with the fastest overall time wins.
Team USA skier and reigning giant slalom champ Ted Ligety was a favorite to do well in today’s races, as was independent American racer and overall World Cup champion Bode Miller.
Ligety said during a press conference last week that he was looking forward to Beaver Creek’s steep terrain because he had been working on his speed event skiing, and Beaver Creek’s steep and twisting course works to his advantage.
“Most of those speed event skiers outweigh me by about 40 pounds,” he said. “But I love coming to Beaver Creek, I like a steep, fast course like this.”
Heavier skiers usually do better through flat sections, but the downhill section of today’s super combined offered a shortened downhill course which eliminated the flat upper section of the complete Birds of Prey downhill course.
That complete course is still set for action in Friday’s downhill at 11 a.m. at Beaver Creek. Parking and admission to the event are free.
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