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World Pro Tour overcomes weather

Sam Bauman

The weather may not have been as snowy as at the Nagano Olympics, but it was bad enough to force the World Pro Ski Tour races at Squaw Valley into wrapping the men’s and women’s events up in one day.

On Saturday, snow, wind and fog halted the women’s dual slalom race on the Red Dog course at the round of eight. On Sunday, under bright sun and light airs with a crowd of more than 1,500 looking on, former Rumanian ski team member Mihaela Fera-Egan edged Sweden’s tour-leading Camilla Lundback for first-place money of $3,150. Third was American Heather Flood.

In the men’s finals, which followed on the heels of the women’s, Michel Lucatelli of France notched his first win on the pro circuit and picked up $6,050 by nosing out five-time tour winner Jakob Rhyner of Switzerland. Third-place finisher Ivan Eggenberger, on his third year on the tour, knocked off tour leader Austrian Hans Hofer.

“It was a day of upsets,” said pro tour official Don Metivier. “These guys (the winners) are usually cannon fodder for Hofer.”

The men and women’s giant slalom events originally scheduled for Sunday were canceled.

The pro tour moves on to Heavenly this coming weekend with a return to racing under the lights Saturday at 6 p.m. for the men’s slalom on the World Cup course. Qualifying begins on Thursday with the first day of dual slalom format racing on Friday on World Cup. The 16 qualifiers will move on to Saturday’s final events.

Heavenly is planning a series of Warsteiner/Pro Ski Tour apres ski parties in the resort area. Pros from both tours will be on hand to sign posters. Bleachers will be set up at the base of the World Cup run for spectators.

Also next weekend will be the World Pro Snowboard Races at Squaw Valley, where Playboy Playmates will help serve a BBQ to spectators.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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