Beaver Creek race canceled

Updated: December 3, 2010, 9:30 PM ET
Associated Press

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. -- Strong wind forced the cancellation of a World Cup downhill race on Friday, and it remains unknown when or where the run will be rescheduled.

Guenther Hujara, the men's World Cup race director, said he is calling around to see if this downhill can be held somewhere else on the circuit.

"But it's very difficult right now," Hujara said Friday night.

The wind along the demanding Birds of Prey course gusted up to 40 mph in spots Friday, making for unsafe racing conditions.

"It almost makes you want to cry because you don't get the run in," U.S. coach Sasha Rearick said. "And the snow is perfect, the track is awesome. ... But it was blowing pretty hard.

"We like to run in wind. It's an outdoor sport, but safety is an important thing and uphill gusts on a big jump are dangerous."

In hopes of possibly staging the race Friday, event organizers earlier moved the start of the competition down the hill to where the super-G typically begins, cutting off nearly one-fifth of the course. After a 2 -hour delay, the race was called off.

Soon after, the organizers were already setting the course for the super-G that's scheduled for Saturday, with a concluding giant slalom session on Sunday. The forecast for Saturday is calling for clearer conditions and not as much wind.

This was the first time the downhill race was canceled at Beaver Creek.

"We lose a race on the home snow, but that's the way it is," Rearick said. "I've been pushing to try to race on Monday, but it seems like that is not going to happen."

The course was in solid shape, too, making the decision all the more difficult to have to cancel the race.

"You know that everybody did not only their best, but they did the ultimate for this race," Hujara said. "We feel sad, but it's not frustrating because you lose something where nobody has done anything wrong. It's only wind that could stop the race."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press