The Ski World Cup event has been canceled again due to the Matterhorn weather
News agency2 min read
LAGHI SEM BIANCHE, Italy — Persistent strong winds on the Matterhorn doomed the Women’s World Cup once again on Sunday, a day after the first sprint race of the season was cancelled.
The cancellations came a week after two men’s descents on the same route were canceled due to heavy snowfall and strong winds.
The slopes of Zermatt-Cervinia against the backdrop of the Matterhorn, the first cross-border races in World Cup history, were presented by the FIS last season as a potential spectacular opener to the speed season, but all four race weekends have so far been cancelled.
Races will not be run in October and November 2022 amid lack of snowfall after an unseasonably warm autumn.
As a result, there has not yet been a downhill race on the Gran Becca course, which starts in Switzerland at an altitude of 3,700 meters (12,100 ft) and crosses the border to finish in Italy.
Continued cancellations have led to suggestions that next year’s event should be moved to later in the season.
“In the next weeks or month we will need to sit together – the organizing committee, all the stakeholders, the ski federations and the Islamic Salvation Front – and do all the appropriate analysis of what happened and then make decisions for the future,” he said. Peter Gerdol, Director of Women’s Racing at the International Ski and Snowboard Federation.
However, local organizers said they were committed to hosting the races in November.
“Sponsors in March and April are much less interested because summer sports are at their peak. They are interested because it is the beginning of the season,” said Franz Gohlen, head of the local organizing committee.
“If this sport wants speed events at this time of year, we are the only area that can provide them because of the altitude,” Golin added.
On Sunday, organizers delayed the start time twice but canceled the event as conditions failed to improve.
“We tried, and let the athletes check (the track) as well, in the hope that the winds would become less strong,” Gerdol said. “The wind has died down a bit, but it’s still not enough to have a safe race.”
Saturday’s race was postponed and then canceled because the ski lifts could not be operated early in the morning and winds made conditions too dangerous for the race.
It was not immediately clear whether the races would be rescheduled or not.
The winds already curtailed training opportunities during the week, with only one of three scheduled sessions taking place on Thursday.
The downhill races were the first women’s races to be canceled this season, after a giant slalom in Austria and a slalom in Finland went ahead as scheduled.
Topping the standings is defending overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin, who won the slalom in Levi a week ago for her 89th World Cup victory.
The Women’s World Cup continues with two more technical races, with the giant slalom and slalom scheduled to take place in Killington, Vermont, next weekend.