Soelden: Men's race canceled due to fog
SOELDEN, Austria – The season opening World Cup men’s giant slalom race was canceled due to reduced visibility on Sunday.
A thick fog settled onto the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden following the first run of the race Sunday and officials determined that visibility was too poor to go through with the second run. Thus, the race was canceled and will not be rescheduled.
"With that thick fog settling so tight and not moving anywhere, we simply had no chance of staging the 2nd run of this competition. The men's GS in Sölden will not be replaced, but is lost for the season. According to FIS Rules, cancelled competitions at the Glacier Opening and during the FIS World Cup Finals are not replaced," stated Günter Hujara, FIS Chief Race Director for the men's World Cup.
The entire first run went off as planned and France’s Cyprien Richard put down an astonishingly fast performance, finishing in 1 minute 10.56 seconds, just 0.02 seconds faster than American GS champ Ted Ligety, who finished second. Keeping the competition extra tight, Austria’s Phillip Schoerghofer and Italy’s Davide Simoncelli tied for third, just 0.03 seconds back.
The within-one-second-of-the-leader club also included Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who was fourth place, 0.13 seconds off Richard’s time, Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal, 0.15 seconds and 0.39 seconds back, respectively, and also Austrian Romed Baumann in eighth, 0.74 seconds back.
Kalle Palander made an impressive return to racing after a two-season hiatus and finished the first run in 11th place with 1.30 seconds to make up. Also not far behind was a seemingly very healthy Jean-Baptiste Grange, 1.45 seconds off the lead pace.
The next men’s World Cup race – the first slalom of the season – takes place in Levi, Finland on 14 November.