Despite an ongoing lockdown in France, which is likely to be extended past Dec. 1, FIS in conjunction with the local organizer in Val d’Isere announced plans to move forward with three weeks of World Cup racing next month.
The events are scheduled from Dec. 5-20 and will be held “with total respect for the health protocol arranged by the organizers in complete collaboration with the local authorities,” the organizer says.
In the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has worsened throughout Europe this fall, FIS was forced to make changes to the World Cup skiing calendar. Val d’Isère has been chosen to host three World Cup weekends with a total of seven races to be held on the historic OK (Oreiller-Killy) course, which hasn’t been featured on the men’s circuit since 2016 when it was the replacement venue for Beaver Creek. The setting at La Daille is suitable for both the technical and speed events.
“It is with immense pleasure that we have received confirmation of what the FIS informed us of a few weeks ago,” said Ingrid Jacquemod of the organizer, Critérium de la Première Neige. “On its 65th birthday, the Critérium de la Première Neige will play host to seven World Cup races on the Oreiller-Killy race course. Given the current situation, it is a great tribute to us and great proof of confidence in what we can offer. We feel very honored by this renewed confidence from the FIS in these complicated times and we’ll rise fully to the challenge to make these three weeks a success.”
According to reports out of France, the focus now shifts to lack of snow at the venue.
“The snow cannons were able to operate above the Folie Douce on the Oreiller-Killy slope. For the rest, the weather forecast calls for window of cold from November 18-19, which we will have to take advantage of,” Michel Vion, president of the French federation, told Ski Chrono.
The snow control is scheduled for Nov. 27. There is admittedly no Plan B, so FIS will likely not be too picky.
The program for Val d’Isere is as follows:
Dec. 5-6 – men’s technical disciplines
Saturday, Dec. 5: Giant Slalom
Sunday, Dec. 6: Giant Slalom
Dec. 9-13 – men’s speed disciplines
Dec. 9-11: Downhill training
Dec. 12: Downhill
Dec. 13: Super G
Dec. 15-20 – women’s speed disciplines
Dec. 15-17: Downhill training
Dec. 18: Downhill
Dec. 19 : Downhill
Dec. 20: Super G