Austria’s Michael Walchhofer and Italy’s Peter Fill may have posted the fastest time midway through Wednesday’s second Downhill training run in Beaver Creek, but it was Mother Nature who ultimately prevailed as a temperature inversion and poor visibility derailed training after 45 of the scheduled 79 racers had left the start. According to FIS rules, the second Audi Birds of Prey training run will be officially listed as partial.
The inversion started to become a factor approximately 20 racers into the training run, as warmer temperatures on the top of the Birds of Prey racecourse caused water to form on the racers’ goggles. Once the racers passed the Pump House section of the course, the temperature dropped dramatically, causing an ice glaze to form on their goggles.
The race jury stopped the run for approximately one hour, waiting for a light snow to move out of the area and hopefully balance out the temperatures. The training run was restarted with racer 22, Andrej Sporn of Slovenia, before finally being cancelled after another 23 racers had gone.
Walchhofer, who captured the World Cup Downhill in Lake Louise last weekend, was tied with Fill, with identical times of 1:48.34, while Austrian teammate Hans Grugger held down the third place training spot, 6 hundredths of a second off the pace.
Top U.S. finisher on the abbreviated day was Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley, California, who placed seventh, while Bode Miller was 11th. Other U.S. finishers included Steven Nyman in 12th and Andrew Weibrecht in 13th.
The 2010 Audi Birds of Prey schedule calls for a final Downhill training run on Thursday, with the Birds of Prey Downhill on tap for 11 a.m. on Friday, December 3.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
2:46 PM Vail Valley Foundation No comments