The 2011 Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week just became plural as snow conditions in Val d’Isere, France have not dramatically improved. Therefore, FIS officials have put together a Plan B, which stands for Beaver Creek.
FIS Race Director Guenter Hujara announced Wednesday afternoon that the resort will now play host to a trio of World Cup men’s and ladies’ competitions next week, December 6-8. The races will include Men’s Giant Slalom on Tuesday, December 6; Women’s Super-G on Wednesday, December 7; and Men’s Slalom on Thursday, December 8.
“While we don’t ever want to hope for another organizer to lose races,” explained Ceil Folz, President of the Vail Valley Foundation, “picking up these events is certainly an added bonus for our community. We have a long track record of hosting transplanted races and it is a pleasure to be able to step in once again and help the FIS in this regard.”
With the additional races, it would mark the first time that the World Cup women will have the opportunity to race on the Birds of Prey course. The last time the ladies raced in Vail or Beaver Creek was during the 1999 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
“We all thought that the first time we would see Lindsey Vonn racing in Beaver Creek would be in 2013 with the test event for our new ladies Downhill course,” offered Folz. “We couldn’t be more excited about the potential of not only seeing Lindsey compete here this year, but also on Birds of Prey.”
Designed by Swiss Olympian Bernhard Russi, Birds of Prey celebrated its coming out party in December of 1997. Since then, only Men’s World Cup races have been contested on the renowned racecourse.
- John Dakin