No World Cup downhill training leaves decisive races at risk


LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — World Cup downhill training runs were canceled because of difficult weather conditions on Tuesday, leaving a tight schedule to resolve the season-long points races led by Sofia Goggia and Beat Feuz.

Both overall World Cup titles will also be decided in Lenzerheide this week, and current leaders Petra Vlhova and Alexis Pinturault would be slightly favored if the forecast weather forces canceling the downhills on Wednesday.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) said heavy snowfalls and strong winds forced organizers to cancel scheduled practice runs on Tuesday on the Silvano Beltrametti slope one day before the women’s and men’s races.

World Cup safety rules mean downhills cannot be held if racers have not had a practice run.

Organizers could try to stage both practice runs early Wednesday, though the forecast is for more snow.

The World Cup Finals week program has no reserve days and FIS rules do not allow races to be rescheduled.

Goggia and Feuz lead the downhill discipline standings though each can be overtaken with 100 points awarded to race winners.

Goggia, the 2018 Olympic champion, is preparing to race for the first time since breaking a bone in her right knee on Jan. 31.

Feuz is seeking a fourth straight season-long title to match Didier Cuche, the previous Swiss star in men’s downhill who retired in 2012.

Vlhova and Pinturault each lead their overall standings by fewer than 100 points and their nearest challengers — Switzerland team-mates Lara Gut-Behrami and Marco Odermatt — are stronger in downhill.

Pinturault, chasing a first overall title after being runner-up for the past two years, has yet to start in downhill this season.

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