Riesch wins WC title, narrowly beating Vonn
Germany’s Maria Riesch won the skiing overall World Cup title, beating Lindsey Vonn, after the FIS canceled the final two races that were to be held in Lenzerheide, Switzerland at the “World Cup Final”.
Vonn won the WC overall title the past three years and was within three points of Riesch. Vonn said she felt devastated at not being able to defend her WC title when the two races were canceled.
Officials canceled both the men’s and women’s giant slalom and super-G races due to weather: rain and warm weather had eroded most of the base on the race course.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) had packed four men’s and women’s races plus a one day team event into only five days, making it likely that one day of poor weather would result in cancellation of more than one race.
US head coach Alex Hoedelmoser said that the FIS should not have called off the race in the morning, but made more effort to put on a race.
Vonn said that the FIS should allow races to be rescheduled in bad weather.
I agree with Vonn, that the FIS could allow one extra days at each venue to make up any race postponed due to weather.
Ted Ligety won gold in the Beaver Creek WC GS in December 2010, but the downhill race was canceled on Friday before the GS.
The super-G in Lenzerheide starts at 6,852 feet and ends at 4,957 feet, lower than Denver, Colorado and much, much lower than ski areas in the Rockies. The base elevation of Keystone, where I teach skiing, lies at 9,300 feet, with the top at 12,200 feet.
Beaver Creek, site of World Cup races in December, goes from 7, 400 feet to 11,440 feet.
Vail and Beaver Creek will host the alpine skiing World Championships in 2015; let’s hope all the races will be run!