Part of the finish area of the Alpine skiing World Cup finals, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, lies in dense fog, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The jury had to cancel the men’s final downhill race due to the heavy fog. (AP Photo/Armando Trovati)
By Manuele Lang
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland, March 13 (Reuters) – Fog on the piste forced organizers to cancel the men’s downhill at the Alpine skiing World Cup finals on Wednesday, handing Aksel Lund Svindal the discipline’s crystal globe for the season.
The last men’s downhill of the campaign scheduled for 0930 local (0830 GMT) was put off several times in the hope of better visibility while the women’s downhill due to take place at 1000 GMT on the same piste was automatically postponed as well.
Fog was still hanging over the bottom section of the course four hours after the scheduled start, forcing the organizers to call it a day.
Downhill world champion Svindal thus retained his 58 point-lead in the specialty’s World Cup over last year’s winner Klaus Kroell of Austria.
But it was a mixed satisfaction for the Norwegian.
While he snatched his first globe in the sport’s blue riband event, Svindal failed to score points because of the cancellation and now his chances for the overall World Cup crown are in serious jeopardy.
With only three races left, including the slalom in which he does not take part, the Norwegian still trails Austria’s Marcel Hirscher by 149 points, a gap the defending big globe holder seems almost certain to retain in the giant slalom and slalom at the weekend.
A decision on the women’s downhill was expected later.
In the women’s downhill World Cup, injured American Lindsey Vonn still leads Slovenia’s overall champion Tina Maze by one point in the standings.