With heavy snowfalls in both Altenmarkt and Wengen first delaying and then seeing both races cancelled, the programme for the Alpine World Cup has been thrown into chaos. The programme for the season is already crammed and so it is unlikely either race will be rescheduled. Markus Waldner said: “We have now missed two downhills so we have to try hard to find a replacement.
So what are the ramifications of the guys race first not happening? It certainly means that it is huge advantage to Marcel Hirscher in the race for the Overall. Eleven races have happened in the tech races whereas there have only been five in the speed events. Hirscher currently has a near 300 point lead over Alexis Pinturault in the race for the Overall with the best speed skier, Kjetil Jansrud 378 points behind in 4th. Seven of the top ten racers in the Overall standings currently have scored points in both technical events whereas only two racers have scored points in the Downhill.
So this definitely points to advantage Hirscher in the race for the Overall. There was little chance of the race happening in Wengen despite the tremendous effort put in by the course crew and the army that shovelled snow through the night to try and make the race happen.
When you look at the history of cancellations in Wengen, 2001 and 2004 both saw the Downhill cancelled though on other years there have been numerous changes to the start position and the day the race has been held.
In Altenmarkt, things were similar to Wengen as fresh snow fell. At least in Wengen they had managed to get two training runs off, won by Peter Fill and Matthias Mayer. In Altenmarkt, no training runs were possible and so they tried to run a training run on the morning of the race. When this was not possible, it was not possible to run a race either.
Altenmarkt was due to see the return of two prominent names: Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. Both Americans were coming back from injury and hoping to still make the American Team for the World Championships. The Women will now try and race on Sunday instead of the Alpine Combined.
So what do racers do when the races are cancelled – they go powder skiing!