The men’s World Cup slalom at BANSKO, Bulgaria was canceled on Sunday due to heavy rain. Event organizers initially delayed the race but it was eventually called off due to inconsistent conditions. The International Ski and Snowboard Federation stressed the importance of the racers’ safety under such conditions and it is uncertain if the event will be rescheduled. The next two slaloms are scheduled to take place in the United States with the first at Palisades Tahoe on February 25, followed by another in Aspen on March 3.
Rain persisted throughout the race which led to the softening of the top layer of the Tomba course. The conditions worsened with each racer’s run, making it difficult to both race or even finish the race. Olympic champion Clement Noel emerged as the leader with a significant time difference. However, there was some question about his performance, as TV footage showed that Noel might have straddled a gate during his run. Timon Haugan, who closely followed in second place, finished 0.27 seconds after Noel. Another Norwegian, Henrik Kristoffersen, finished in third, 0.38 behind the lead. Five skiers were more than a second behind, creating a significant gap in the rankings.
This is the second slalom this season that was cancelled due to premature weather conditions, the first one was in Val-d’Isère, France in December. The men’s World Cup skiing event is scheduled to continue in Norway with a downhill and super-G in Kvitfjell next weekend. For more information on AP skiing, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/alpine-skiing