Heavy snows forces cancellation of women's downhill at Val d'Isere

Un engin de damage tente de préparer la piste dans le brouillard et sous la neige lors de l'étape de Coupe du monde de ski alpin de Val d'Isere (France) le 21 décembre 2019. (AFP Photo/Jeff PACHOUD)

Val-d'Isère (France) (AFP) - Heavy snow and strong winds at Val d'Isere forced World Cup organisers to cancel Saturday's women's downhill.

The downhill has been reprogrammed for Sunday in place of the scheduled combined. However, the outlook remains bleak as another 40-60 centimetres of snow expected to fall.

Saturday's start was initially pushed back two hours following heavy overnight snowfall which meant extra time was needed to clear the Oreiller-Killy.

However, the persistent snowfall hampered the clear-up and led to the cancellation of the race.

It marks the latest reverse for the French resort.

Last year, the two women's races were called off because of a lack of snow and the men's slalom was cancelled because of high wind.

This year the wind has already got the better of the men's giant slalom last weekend, a race rescheduled for Hinterstoder in Austria on March 1.

"It's clear that it's a lot," said director of the Val d'Isere sports club Ingrid Jacquemod.

"Out of four planned races, we have already had two cancelled,

"It's difficult to keep the troops motivated because behind the scenes it's a lot of work day and night."

On the other side of the Alps, in Val Gardena in Italy, Saturday's men's downhill was also cancelled due to bad weather.