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Bad news for American ski racing fans today—the first downhill of Beaver Creek’s highly anticipated Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS World Cup has been canceled due to strong winds and heavy snowfall affecting Western Colorado on Friday, Dec. 2.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Eagle County early Friday morning, with a daytime snow accumulation of two to four inches expected in addition to Thursday’s heavy snowfall overnight and western winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts as high as 45 mph.
Inclement weather does not make for safe ski racing conditions, especially the downhill, where snow piles and powerful gusts tend to make high speeds and sketchy saves even more likely to end in a nasty crash.
The American Downhillers will have to wait another day to make their first appearance of the season on home soil.
It’s been a minute since fans have seen an American on the podium in the Beaver Creek downhill, not since Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves took the top two spots in 2004. And after a shaky start in the Lake Louise season opener, this year’s crop of athletes is determined to change that stat.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who finished seventh in his first downhill training run of the week, improved upon his finish in Thursday’s training, tying for the fourth spot with Norway’s Adrian Sejersted. Training has also seen Travis Ganong and Bryce Bennett in the top 20, with Jared Goldberg and Erik Arvidsson in the top 30. Kyle Negomir, who scored his first World Cup speed points in the Lake Louise super G, also laid down some impressive training runs worthy of point-scoring if he can bring the same skiing to race day.
Events are slated to resume on Saturday, Dec. 3, with the men’s downhill, followed by a super G on Sunday, Dec. 4. Tune in live on Outside Watch to see the world’s best speed racers take on North America’s fiercest downhill course. Get all the streaming details here.