SPITAL AM PYHRN,AUSTRIA,25.MAR.15 - ALPINE SKIING - Austrian Championships, slalom, ladies. Image shows Carmen Thalmann (AUT). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram

Early season FIS slalom races in central Europe will have some unlikely entrants this week as a result of the cancellation of the World Cup Levi races in Finland for both men and women.

The Austrian women’s World Cup technical team, specifically Carmen Thalmann, Christina Ager, and Lisa-Maria Zeller, will compete Nov. 10-11 at the previously scheduled FIS slalom races in Diavolezza, Switzerland. They will then depart for North America on Nov. 15 to train at Vail, Colo., in advance of the Aspen World Cup.

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Finding slalom races for the men’s team was a bit more problematic, but the Austrian Ski Association, SC Mittersill, and the Bergbahnen Kitzbuehel collaborated to organize two men’s races in the coming weekend.

“I’m glad we were able to organize an alternative program for our slalom team on such short notice,” said Austrian Men’s Head Coach Andreas Puelacher. “The (early) races are very important for our young athletes and as an initial assessment.”

Reinfried Herbst, Michael Matt, Manuel Feller, Marco Schwarz, and Christian Hirschbuehl will compete in two FIS slalom races rescheduled from later in the month to Nov. 14-15 in Pass Thurn, Austria.

Warm weather has also been a challenge for the Austrian speed teams which had to delay their departures for Colorado due to a later than expected opening of downhill training at Copper Mountain. Both the men and women’s speed teams will depart for North America on Nov. 11 to begin training at Vail and Copper on Nov. 12.

Information courtesy of ÖSV