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bobsleigh
CESANA, Italy -- As a result of the devastating snowstorm which struck the Cesana Pariol region of Italy, the Intersport FIBT World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton races scheduled for December 19 - 21 have been canceled. CESANA, Italy -- As a result of the devastating snowstorm which struck the Cesana Pariol region of Italy, the Intersport FIBT World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton races scheduled for December 19 - 21 have been canceled.

With a record snowfall exceeding 2.5 meters, the Cesana track management determined that the preparation of the track for training and competition was not feasible within the scheduled window. The review of the weather forecast by the jury presidents and the race organizer found that conducting safe training and competition was compromised.

Over 300 athletes, coaches and officials were scheduled to participate in the bobsleigh and skeleton races, the fourth stop on the Intersport World Cup tour.

Training was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday, December 16 at the 2006 Olympic venue. Unusually heavy snowfall and high winds prevented the normal preparation of the refrigerated track. The situation was further complicated when an avalanche closed the only road between Sestriere, where most of the teams and officials are staying, and Cesana, where the Bob skeleton track is located.   As of Wednesday morning, the roafd was still closed.

The record heavy snows started over the weekend and continued around-the-clock Monday and Tuesday. The weather forecast shows snow continuing to fall through at least Wednesday and possibly longer. Significant snow removal is necessary to open the access roads along the track, both for the transportation of athletes and equipment and for emergency medical vehicles.

The FIBT is reviewing the status of the races and will announce at a later date whether make-up races will be held this season.

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