Weather Forces Men's GS Pushback

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Big Mountain, Mont. March 26, 2001 (USSA)--Fog and soft snow Monday forced organizers at the Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships topostpone the men's GS 24 hours. Weather permitting, the new schedule may have the men's and women's GS Tuesday at BigMountain.

Rain, which began after the women's super G Sunday afternoon, continued into the night, further softening the snow, which haswithstood bright sunshine for three days, and bringing fog. Organizers originally postponed the men's giant slalom 90 minutes (to10:30 a.m. MST) but within the hour decided to push back the fourth day of racing, doubling-up Tuesday's schedule.

Chief of competition Paul Mahre said the combination of warm temperatures and rain created unsafe snow conditions tht warantdthe delay. The jury was considering a variety of options - from men's and women's GS Tuesday and both slaloms Wednesday to aGS and a slalom each day.

"We were stuck with a surface that was inconsistent, unsafe and un-runnable," Mahre said. Because of the soft snow, coursegrooming crews were unable to get on the course during the night, he said.

Since the women's giant slalom title race was postponed at Jackson Hole last year, he added, holding the women's GS was apriority for Big Mountain organizers.