Sejersted denied maiden World Cup win by weather cancellation

Norway's Adrian Smiseth Sejersted was denied his first World Cup downhill victory when Friday's race at Aspen was cancelled due to bad weather.

Twenty two skiers had completed the course when the jury ruled that poor visibility and heavy snow made conditions too dangerous to compete in.

Sejersted, first out of the hut, had posted the fastest time of 1:31.24 and then sat back as the leading contenders struggled to get close to his time.

One of those, fellow Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the downhill World Cup leader, was 1.63 seconds behind his compatriot, who he consoled at the finish line after the jury decision was confirmed by race referee Markus Waldner.

The top seven runners had raced in decent conditions but the race was stopped while a course official was treated after a fall on the piste after Austrian Vincent Kriechmayer moved into second place.

When action resumed, visibility was significantly worse and none of the expected contenders were able to get even close to Sejersted's time.

Overall World Cup champion Marco Odermatt, recently crowned the downhill world champion in Courchevel, could only finish 14th fastest, a full 2.64sec behind Sejersted.

While it was clearly an unfair race, the rules state that a race should only be cancelled when it is viewed as unsafe and that call was not made until Italian veteran Christoph Innerhofer, 24th out, slowed down after losing his line midway through his effort.

World Cup rules state that half the skiers in the 60-man field must have started for the race result to be confirmed and the race was six short of that amount when the event was called off.

The skiers were due to return to the slope on Saturday for a second scheduled downhill which now looks likely to be the penultimate of the season.

The final downhill is scheduled for Soldeu in Andorra on March 15.

Unless the race is made-up for elsewhere in the calendar that would mean that the battle for the downhill World Cup title is between leader Kilde, who has 660 points and Kriechmayer who has 554 points.

Third-placed Odermatt, who is almost certain to win the overall World Cup title again, is 256 points behind Kilde and would be out of the running for the downhill globe unless the race is rescheduled.