Kranjska Gora to host World Cup races called off in Maribor

MARIBOR, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenian ski resort Kranjska Gora will host the two women’s World Cup races that were called off in Maribor because of a lack of snow and unfavorable weather forecasts, local officials said Friday.

Organizers of the two technical races wrote on the event’s website that FIS is giving the “green light for the competitions” to be held Jan. 8-9 — the same dates as originally planned in Maribor.

The giant slalom will be held on Jan. 8, followed by the slalom the next day. The first run will start at 9:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) for both races, which could mark Mikaela Shiffrin’s return to competition.

Sidelined since testing positive for COVID-19, the American missed this week’s races in Lienz, Austria. It was unclear whether Shiffrin would be able to compete in the first race of 2022 — a floodlit slalom in Zagreb, Croatia, on Tuesday.

The Podkoren hill in Kranjska Gora, an annual stop on the men’s World Cup, has stepped in for Maribor four times in the past five years.

The Pohorje hill in Maribor has its finish area just 340 meters above sea level. Faced with a decrease of snow and a rise in temperatures, local organizers have been struggling in recent years to create course conditions suitable for World Cup races.

Maribor is a classic venue that hosted 68 women’s races since the World Cup started in 1967. Only Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val d’Isère, and Lake Louise hosted more women’s events.

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