Alpine skiing World Cup to visit China as 2019-20 schedule released

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The Alpine skiing World Cup will visit China for the first time next season, two years before the Winter Olympics head to the world’s most populous nation for the first time.

Yanqing will host a men’s downhill and super-G on Feb. 15-16, which double as 2022 Beijing Winter Games test events.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) published this week the 2019-20 World Cup season calendars for men (here) and women (here). The first races will again be giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, the last weekend of October.

The U.S. will again hold a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vt., on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, followed by a men’s super-G, downhill and giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., from Dec. 6-8.

Mikaela Shiffrin will try to become the third woman to win four World Cup overall titles, joining legends Lindsey Vonn (four) and Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (six). Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who has not yet committed to racing next season, could go for his record-extending ninth straight overall title.

Shiffrin, 24, and Hirscher, 30, could also continue to ascend the career wins list. Shiffrin reached 60 with 17 victories last season, her best to date. Hirscher is at 67 wins. Shiffrin should pass Moser-Pröll (62) for second on the women’s list behind Vonn (82). Hirscher trails only Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark (86) between men and women.

Those will be the main season storylines after Vonn’s retirement last season and with no world championships in 2020.

The next worlds, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2021, will include the championships debut of the parallel slalom, giving Shiffrin another potential medal event. The combined event, which has been on the chopping block for years, remains on the World Cup schedule next season and on the 2021 World Championships program.

FIS “decided to maintain and promote this discipline to make it more attractive,” it said of the combined. It scheduled seven combined races next season between men and women, its most since 2015-16.

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