Feast of World Cup racing comes to Val Gardena

Val Gardena is hosting a week of fabulous star-studded ski racing in the lead-up to Christmas.

The World Cup Men's Downhill is scheduled to take place on the renowned Saslong course - where Britain's Konrad Bartelski took his famous second place in 1981 - this Friday, December 14. The World Cup Super Giant Slalom will be run the following day, December 15.

Val Gardena has hosted top-level ski racing since 1970, when the Alpine World Championships were held there.

And this year there's extra excitement with the Ladies World Cup races - originally scheduled for Val d'Isere - taking place in Val Gardena, also on the Saslong course, on December 18 and 19. The 18th will see the women's downhill, with the super giant slalom on the 19th.

Taking part will be local star Nicol Delago, following her good performances in World Cup races at Lake Louise in Canada.

The women's races have been moved from Val d'Isere because of poor conditions in the French resort.

Completing this exceptional period of competition is an international women's tennis tournament, the Raiffeisen ITF Val Gardena Sudtirol, being held in Ortisei for the 16th year. Among those competing from December 15 to 22 for the 15,000 dollar prize money will be local player Verena Hofer.

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