FIS inspector Bob Dart along with Chief of Course Greg Johnson from Beaver Creek (Vail Valley Foundation)
The World Cup returns to Beaver Creek! The birds of prey course is fast, technical and daunting. Last years winner, Aksel Lund Svindal claimed the title one short year after having a serious crash in the event. (see below) I can’t wait to watch the footage as this is always one of the most challenging races on the circuit. Get your lycra and bent ski poles out for this one!
The Audi Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek are officially a go thanks to a green light from the International Ski Federation (FIS) Friday afternoon. That means Olympic champions Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Audi FIS World Cup overall champion and 2009 Birds podium sweeper Carlo Janka of Switzerland are guaranteed to be in action Dec. 3-5 when the men’s World Cup swings into America.
Fans nationwide can catch the races on NBC, Versus and Universal Sports with races airing throughout the weekend. NBC will feature the thrilling Birds of Prey downhill at 2 p.m. ET on Dec. 3.
“Our partners at Vail Resorts have certainly made the most of the temperatures Mother Nature has provided,” said Michael Imhof, Vice President of Sales and Operations for the Vail Valley Foundation. “Thanks to the favorable snowmaking conditions and the natural snow we have received, everything is not only on track for a great weekend of racing at the Audi FIS Birds of Prey, but also for a great start to the ski season for everyone.”
Beaver Creek Mountain, which has received over two feet of snow in the past week, is scheduled to open on Wednesday, November 24, while Vail Mountain opened to the public today.
“We’re in the best shape on a Snow Control day in years,” added Chief of Course Greg Johnson.
The FIS sends snow control inspectors to World Cup sites in advance of the competitions to ensure that good race course conditions exist or that the weather forecast is favorable for snowmaking.
The 2010 Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week gets underway Wednesday, Dec. 1, with downhill Training. Competition kicks off Friday, Dec. 3, with the traditional Birds of Prey Downhill, followed by super G on Saturday. The weekend’s racing concludes with giant slalom on Sunday as Ligety, who has multiple GS podiums at Beaver Creek, seeks to secure an elusive win.