Updated: Sunday, 19 January 2014 20:00 | By Agence France-Presse

Cortina set for bumper week of skiing after race cancellations

The Italian Dolomites resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo is set for four bumper days of World Cup racing next week after a women's downhill and super-G were cancelled due to heavy snow.

Cortina set for bumper week of skiing after race cancellations

A man clears snow from a roof in Cortina d'Ampezzo on January 18, 2014 - by Giuseppe Cacace

The downhill, held over from Saturday, replaced a scheduled super-G on Sunday but had to be called off again after heavy overnight snowfall made the Tofane piste unraceable.

The International Ski Federation said it would have taken at least 15 hours of working on the run, in good weather conditions, to make the circuit raceable after the overnight snow fall.

"Yesterday's downhill was rescheduled for today but has to be cancelled as well since it has been snowing heavily for the last 20 hours," said the FIS statement.

"With the relatively warm temperatures the snow is heavy and wet. A minimum of 15 hours would be needed to get the track ready for the race."

FIS chief race director Atle Skaardal added: "The decision was easy to make this morning.

"A lot of new snow fell overnight. We would need a minimum of 15 hours to establish the race course again in nice weather, which is not the case at the moment.

"The forecast says it will continue to snow for the next 24 hours. So we had no chance to have a race today."

Cortina next week was already scheduled to host two races -- a downhill on the Saturday and a super-G on the Sunday -- that were moved from Garmisch because of the unseasonably mild weather in the German resort last week.

Now, the Italian resort will stage four days of racing from Wednesday to Sunday in a bid to make sure none of the races are scratched from the World Cup programme.

The FIS statement added: "A long week of speed racing now awaits the women in the World Cup, with one training day and four races scheduled within five days, starting next Wednesday."

Downhill races require at least one training run, while no training runs are required for a super-G.

The FIS added in a post on Twitter the training run will be held Wednesday, the super-G races on Thursday and Sunday and the downhills on Thursday and Saturday.

Only one actual run was held in Cortina over four days of scheduled competition, a training run for the downhill on Thursday when Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch topped the times, 0.01sec ahead of Slovenian rival Tina Maze.

Hoefl-Riesch is one of several gold medal contenders for the downhill at the upcoming Sochi Games, where Lindsey Vonn will not defend her title from Vancouver because she has been sidelined due to recent knee troubles.

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