Women's race to remain on gruelling piste

Mon Feb 9, 2009 5:21pm IST

A cable car is pictured on the Bellevarde face in Val d'Isere in this January 31, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

A cable car is pictured on the Bellevarde face in Val d'Isere in this January 31, 2008 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/Files

VAL D'ISERE, France (Reuters) - The women's giant slalom will stay on the gruelling Bellevarde piste despite protests by world championship teams, organisers said on Monday.

Captains had threatened to boycott Wednesday's team event if Thursday's giant slalom was held on the icy lower part of Bellevarde, saying it would be too dangerous.

They wanted the giant slalom moved to the less demanding Solaise course, used for the women's speed events while Bellevarde is hosting all the men's races and also the women's technical events.

Organisers said Solaise had deteriorated after fresh snow was removed from the course ahead of the women's downhill to be held later on Monday.

More snowfalls forecast over the next few days would make it impossible to prepare the piste properly for Thursday's giant slalom, they added.

Since the start of the championships, teams have expressed concerns the steep Bellevarde slope, also criticised as too hard by the men, would be too extreme for most of the women.

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