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World Championships Finally Get Underway as Weather Clears

The racing in Cortina d’Ampezzo should have begun on Monday, then Tuesday and then Wednesday.  Bad weather has wreaked havoc on the first few days of the Championships. Competition has now started and it’s on the BBC.

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The event has now started with the women’s Super-G.

Switzerland took first and second places with Lara Gut-Behrami edging it past her team mate, Corinne Suter.

All eyes were on the US skier Mikaela Shiffrin making her return to speed skiing and she did not disappoint with a super run, marred by an error at the end but she still made the podium.

And in the men’s event?

With most of us stuck at home it was also a joy simply to see the mountains.

The racing is being covered by the BBC.

It’s a packed programme of races in the Italian Dolomites.

The last thing the organisers wanted was for the first few days of the Championships to be snowed off, but it’s happened.

Monday should have been the women’s Alpine Combined.

Heavy snow and avalanche danger on the upper part of the course forced its postponement until one week later.

Tuesday was meant to be ‘Super Tuesday’ with both the men’s and women’s Super-Gs planned.

First the men’s Super-G was moved to Thursday when it became clear more time would be needed to clear the course of heavy snow, leaving just the women’s race.

But then the women’s Super G also fell victim to the weather – this time it was dense fog at the top which refused to budge.

And on Wednesday the men’s Alpine Combined was postponed.

It will now be staged next Monday, along with the women’s Alpine Combined.

The Opening Ceremony of the Championships took place on Sunday evening.

It was, predictably, a colourful occasion.

There’s a lot a sport to look forward to.

The World Championships take place over two weeks.

Some 600 athletes from 70 nations will compete.  There are 13 events, 39 medals to be presented.

Five pistes will be used – one of them dedicated to the qualifying races.

The Covid-19 pandemic means the 2012 World Championships will be a more muted affair than is usual with none of the packed grandstands we are used to seeing.

It will, though, be broadcast across the globe, reaching a potential 500 million viewers, and some 3,500 people will be there and working on the event.

Team GB is ready.

Women’s Team

Charlie Guest – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Alex Tilley – Slalom, Super G, Giant Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Sarah Woodward – Individual Parallel (Reserve for Team Event)

Men’s Team

Billy Major – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Laurie Taylor – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Charlie Raposo – Giant Slalom, Individual and Team Event

Dave Ryding – Slalom

“It has been such a difficult year for everyone, however, we go into this year’s World Championships with one of the strongest teams ever, after a season of top results,” said Alpine Director of GB Snowsport, Paul Trayner.

“A World Cup podium for Dave, 3 Europa Cup winners and with Alex skiing consistently in the top 30 at World Cup level we have so much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s also great to see the group of young skiers vying for selection, scoring Europa Cup points and winning National Championships, ensuring that GBR continues to push forward to the Olympics and beyond.”

GB Snowsport

Dave Ryding. Image © GB Snowsport

“I am always very proud to represent Great Britain on the international stage, however with a major event such as the World Championships there is always the extra proudness and passion that comes with representing our amazing nation,” said Dave Ryding.“Personally I am pretty experienced with such events and will look to leave everything I have on the hill come race day to make my nation proud.

“I am also very excited for the GB Snowsport Alpine team as a whole; we have some very talented skiers in our team and certainly, since I have been involved, it is by far our strongest team.”

If you want to catch Ryding, GB’s number one racer, tackle the men’s slalom you’ll have a long wait.

As usual, it is the last event in the programme.

It is on Sunday 21st February.

The Rocket has been on the podium once already this season with a third place in Adelboden – the third World Cup podium of his career.

Fingers crossed he can get his hands on his first World Championships medal.

His highest placing at a World Championships was two years ago in Åre, Sweden, when he finished 9th.

His best until then had been his 11th place in St Moritz at the previous Championships in 2017.

If you’re a fan of the American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin – and who isn’t? – you’re in for a treat.

She has announced that her long-awaited return to speed skiing will be in Cortina.

She should have been on the racecourse on Monday with the Alpine Combined but that will now be next week.

She’s had a bit of fun with the disrupted schedule on Twitter.

She plans to enter three other events –  Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom.

It’s the most races she’s ever entered in a major championships.

Shiffrin won the Super G in Åre in 2019 but has told journalists she can’t guarantee being good enough to defend her title.

She returned to racing in November after a 10-month break following the death of her father and has not entered a downhill or super G since.

In all, seven different alpine disciplines will be raced in Cortina:

  • Downhill – the fastest, longest of the races
  • Super G – a bit like downhill but with 30 mandatory turns so it’s slightly slower over a shorter course
  • Slalom – the most technical of the the races through a series of poles or gates
  • Giant Slalom – a bigger, longer, faster version of slalom with fewer gates
  • Alpine Combined – The skier with the fastest combined times from 2 slalom runs and one downhill wins
  • Parallel Slalom – Similar to slalom with a series of tight turns skiers have to negotiate racing side by side over parallel courses.  Knockout format.
  • Team Parallel – As above but in team format with countries competing in teams of 6. Each winning skier gets the points and the team with the most points at the end wins.

If you’re in the UK, the BBC is offering coverage of the Alpine Worlds and the Ski and Snowboard Cross Worlds.

All times are GMT and subject to change at late notice, especially after all the changes to the schedule in Cortina.

Thursday, 11 February

2021 Cross World Championships: Snowboard Cross Women’s & Men’s

Live coverage

10:25-12:40, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

22:15-00:30, BBC Red Button

Friday, 12 February

2021 Cross World Championships: Snowboard Cross Mixed Teams

Live coverage

11:20-12:45, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

20:00-22:25, BBC Red Button

Saturday, 13 February

Women’s Downhill

Live coverage

09:45-11:15, BBC Red Button

Replay

19:20-20:50, BBC Red Button

2021 Cross World Championships: Ski Cross Finals

Live coverage

11:20-13:10, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Sunday, 14 February

Men’s Downhill

Live coverage

09:45-11:45, BBC Red Button

Replay

15:00-17:00, BBC Red Button

Tuesday, 16 February

Women’s and Men’s Parallel Slalom (GB competitors: Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley, Sarah Woodward, Billy Major, Charlie Raposo, Laurie Taylor)

Live coverage

12:45-14:45, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

17:00-19:00, BBC Red Button

Thursday, 18 February

Women’s Giant Slalom (Alex Tilley for GB)

Live coverage

1st Run

08:45-10:45, BBC Red Button

2nd Run

12:15-13:45, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

20:00-21:30, BBC Red Button

Friday, 19 February

Men’s Giant Slalom (Charlie Raposo for GB)

Live coverage

1st run

08:45-10:45, BBC Red Button

2nd run

12:15-13:45, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

20:00-21:30, BBC Red Button

Saturday, 20 February

Women’s Slalom (Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest for GB)

Live coverage

1st run

08:45-10:45, BBC Red Button

2nd run

12:15-13:35, BBC Sport website and connected TV

Replay

17:30-18:50, BBC Red Button

Sunday, 21 February

Men’s Slalom (Dave Ryding, Billy Major and Laurie Taylor for GB)

Live coverage

1st run

08:45-10:35, BBC Red Button

2nd run

12:15-13:35, BBC Sport Website and connected TV

Replay

22:00-22:30, BBC Red Button

There is an app you can download from the App Store and Google Play to follow the action with behind the scenes videos and photos and schedule information.

Cortina released this video ahead of the Championships.

It showcases the spectacular Dolomites scenery, to a soundtrack of Italian opera.

It should get you in the mood….

 

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