ROSA KHUTOR, Russia — The start time for Friday’s men’s Olympic super combined has been brought forward by an hour because of concerns about warm weather conditions, organizers said on Thursday.
The downhill run will now start at 10am local time, with the slalom leg to follow later.
Following Thursday’s final training run, Vancouver super combined champion Bode Miller and Easton, N.H. native expressed fears that the downhill course would become too soft and that the pedigree speedsters would not be able to gain any advantage over the slalomists.
Times for the two runs are combined to decide the winner.
“I think an earlier start tomorrow would potentially help,” the 36-year-old American told reporters.
“It would make it a little bit fairer conditions.
“The biggest thing is the (start) intervals. Today in training at least we ran short intervals but with full race intervals it would be the luck of the draw.
“You could be 45 minutes after the first guys and in these conditions this course changes a lot in an hour. If the slalom guys ran early, they would have a huge advantage.”
Miller failed to win a medal in the downhill last Sunday, complaining that the course had become too tame compared to the icy turns that faced the racers in training last week.
If he is to stand a chance of successfully defending his combined title on Friday, he will need to build a lead in the downhill and try to hang on in the technical leg where fellow American Ted Ligety is strong.
“A slalom is 50 seconds plus and the slalom guys can put a huge amount of time on the downhillers,” Miller said.
“Right now the downhill is so easy, so basic, there’s nothing challenging about it so there is no way to put any time on the slalom guys and everyone is within a second or so.”