Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup races confirmed

Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup organizers were given the go-ahead Wednesday to host the first speed races of the 2012-13 Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season following a successful snow inspection.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) confirmed that men’s and ladies’ downhill and super-G races are scheduled to take place as planned on Nov. 24-25 (men) and Nov. 30-Dec. 2 (ladies).

Helmuth Schmalzl, FIS race director for the men’s speed events, made the announcement to chief of race Darrell MacLachlan on Wednesday morning following an inspection – also known as snow control – at The Lake Louise Ski Area.

“We are very happy that we managed to pull together all of our resources and manpower to the extent that FIS has given us the green light to host World Cup races at Lake Louise,” said John Cassels, co-chairman of Winterstart Events Ltd.

Although Lake Louise received significant snowfall in October, warm temperatures have restricted snow-making opportunities in recent weeks.

“Our goal is to go one metre deep and 60 metres wide from top to bottom (of the race track),” Cassels said. “We are going to continue to work hard, make snow and build the race track between now and the first training run next Wednesday.”

The Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup brings the planet’s best speed skiers to Alberta. Canada’s team for the men’s races is set to feature reigning downhill world champion Erik Guay, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., and three members of the Canadian Cowboys who have previously won at Lake Louise – Calgary, Alta., duo John Kucera (2006) and Jan Hudec (2007) and Vancouver, B.C.’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis (2009).

Schedule (all times Mountain):
Wednesday, Nov. 21 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 22 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Friday, Nov. 23 – Men’s downhill training (11:30 a.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 24 – Men’s downhill (11:30 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 25 – Men’s super-G (11 a.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 27 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 28 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 29 – Ladies’ downhill training (12:30 p.m.)
Friday, Nov. 30 – Ladies’ downhill (12:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 1 – Ladies’ downhill (12:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 2 – Ladies’ super-G (11 a.m.)