Ladies' slalom in Maribor cancelled
Maribor, Slovenia – Mild temperatures overnight had a considerable impact on the Pohorje 2 course this morning and a lot of meticulous work was needed to get the track race ready. The jury could only confirm the programme of the 8th slalom of the season just 30 minutes before the start.
It was however obvious that the course wasn't holding up as the race went on. The soft snow made it impossible for the higher bib numbers to match the leaders' pace, which was set by Czech Republic's Sarka Strachova and Switzerland's Wendy Holdener who were tied for first.
The race was interrupted after bib 25, in order to repair the track which was not in an acceptable shape any more. The situation nevertheless couldn't be significantly improved and forced the jury and the organisers to cancel the race.
“The main problem was at the end of the steep section, but the course also developed in a negative direction on top section, so we saw that it was not possible to hold the course in a good shape,” FIS Chief Race Director Atle Skaardal explained.
“Of course we could have sent the rest of the racers but the risk would have been too high and this is not the direction we want to go,” Skaardal continued. “The health of the athletes is a very important thing but also a certain fairness and a certain standard. This is World Cup, this is the highest level.”
“I think that it was a good decision to try to work on the hill this morning and see if we could improve it and bring it up to an acceptable standard. Everyone agreed on starting the race but there was also a unanimous agreement within the jury that it was the right moment to stop the race as well, since we realised it was not going to hold up until the end.”
Most of the technical racers will now head back home, as the World Cup will next stop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) for the 6th downhill and 4th super-G races of the season.