Ski racing’s finest head to Colorado this February to compete in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and both BBC Sport and British Eurosport will have all the excitement and drama on the slopes covered for UK fans.
Athletes from over 70 nations and many of the biggest names in the sport, including Marcel Hirscher, Ted Ligety, Kjetil Jansrud, Lindsey Vonn, Maria Hofl-Riesch and Tina Maze, will all be racing throughout the course of the two-week championships in Vail Beaver Creek, Colorado, the first time the event has been held in the United States since 1999.
Since 1983, the Vail Valley has played host to numerous annual World Cup races, including the 1994 and 1997 World Cup Finals, though the 1989 and 1999 World Championships firmly established the region as the self-styled ski racing capital of North America.
As a result of the 1989 championships, visitor numbers to the resort increased significantly, while the 1999 edition generated the largest crowd in US ski racing history and the coming out party for one of the world’s premier downhill courses, paving the way for Vail and Beaver Creek’s successful bid to host the 2015 World Championships.
The attention of home fans will be focussed on American skiing heroine Lindsey Vonn, who enters the first race of the championships, the women’s super-G, as the favorite despite two serious operations on her right knee in the past two years.
Those injuries caused the 30-year-old, who has two Olympic and five world championship medals, to miss last year’s Sochi Winter Olympis, but she has returned to the World Cup circuit this season and quickly re-established her dominance in the speed events.
Vonn, however, has not won an Olympic or world championship race since the 2010 Vancouver Games, so her competitors, and the larger ski community, will be watching closely to see if she can deliver another major title.
The glamour race of the world championships, the men’s downhill, was scheduled in the marquee spot in the competition – the first Saturday of the event, and for much of the last year, Kjetil Jansrud of Norway has been the world’s best men’s speed skier, winning a gold and a bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics and three World Cup downhill races this season.
However, Jansrud has appeared in four world championships since 2005 but has yet to win a medal. If he is going to take his place among the long list of Norwegian skiing greats — and he has displayed that kind of ability — he will have to make a name for himself this week.
Jansrud will face a formidable field, including the American Bode Miller, who is coming off back surgery but plans to race for the first time this season in the downhill and the super-G.
Two-time Olympian Dave Ryding heads up a six-strong British team for the championships. Ryding recorded a 17th place finish in the men’s slalom at Sochi 2014, an improvement of ten places from his Games debut in Vancouver four years earlier.
He has enjoyed a strong season so far this time around too, recording the best World Cup performance by a Brit since Chemmy Alcott’s 17th in March 2010 when he finished in 16th in men’s slalom in Italy before Christmas.
Jack Gower will be the busiest of the British skiers, competing in the downhill, giant slalom, super G and alpine combined while Jai Geyer and Charlie Raposo will contest the slalom and giant slalom.
On the women’s side, Alex Tilley will be hoping to make an impact in both the slalom and giant slalom after a solid season so far which has seen her top the podiums in North America on the Nor-Am circuit, while it is hoped she will be joined in both events by Charlie Guest who is receiving from an accident sustained in November.
Get set for two weeks of thrilling Alpine ski-racing from Colorado as the globe’s best go in search for the coveted title of world champion and fans can follow all the action on the BBC and British Eurosport between February 2-15.
BBC Sport will have comprehensive free-to-air coverage of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships from Beaver Creek Vail in Colorado from February 3-15.
All the main events throughout the fortnight will be shown live via the BBC Red Button, including the blue-riband downhills on Friday and Saturday (February 6-7).
Highlights of all the key action will be shown across two episodes of Ski Sunday on BBC Two, presented by Graham Bell and Ed Leigh, on February 8 and February 15.
All TV coverage will be available to watch/listen online via the BBC Sport website and app, while the BBC Two’s Ski Sunday highlights shows will be on BBC iPlayer for seven days following transmission.
Winter sports fans can keep up to date with the latest news, videos and reaction from Beaver Creek by visiting the BBC Sport website – bbc.co.uk/wintersports – while viewers with Connected TVs will be able to access BBC online content for the latest news, videos, interviews and highlights from the championships.
British Eurosport will also broadcast extensive live coverage of the 2015 FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships, which gets underway in Colorado on February 2.
The pan-European channel will have action from all all the key events and selected coverage of training runs across the two-week championships, as well as daily preview shows and highlights programmes.
Live online streaming of British Eurosport’s coverage can be accessed via Eurosport Player (subscription required), plus there will also be additional reports and features via the British Eurosport website.
Monday 2nd February Women’s Downhill (Training) LIVE: 7.45pm-9.00pm British Eurosport 2
Tuesday 3rd February Women’s Super-G LIVE: 5.45pm-8.00pm BBC Red Button / 5.45pm-7.45pm British Eurosport Men’s Downhill (Training) LIVE: 8.30pm-10.00pm British Eurosport
Wednesday 4th February Men’s Super-G LIVE: 5.45pm-8.00pm BBC Red Button
Friday 6th February Women’s Downhill LIVE: 5.45pm-7.50pm BBC Red Button / 5.45pm-7.45pm British Eurosport
Saturday 7th February Men’s Downhill LIVE: 6.00pm-8.15pm BBC Red Button / 5.45pm-7.30pm British Eurosport
Sunday 8th February Men’s Super-Combined (Downhill) LIVE: 4.45pm-7.00pm BBC Red Button / 4.45pm-6.30pm British Eurosport Ski Sunday Highlights: 5.15pm-6.00pm BBC Two Men’s Super-Combined (Slalom) LIVE: 9.00pm-10.35pm BBC Red Button / 9.15pm-10.30pm British Eurosport
Monday 9th February Women’s Super-Combined (Downhill) LIVE: 4.45pm-7.00pm BBC Red Button / 4.45pm-6.30pm British Eurosport Women’s Super-Combined (Slalom) LIVE: 9.00pm-10.35pm BBC Red Button / 9.00pm-10.00pm British Eurosport
Tuesday 10th February Nations Team Event LIVE: 9.00pm-10.45pm British Eurosport
Thursday 12th February Women’s Giant Slalom (1st Run) LIVE: 5.00pm-6.15pm British Eurosport Women’s Giant Slalom (2nd Run) LIVE: 9.00pm-11.10pm BBC Red Button / 9.00pm-10.15pm British Eurosport
Friday 13th February Men’s Giant Slalom (1st Run) LIVE: 5.00pm-7.25pm BBC Red Button / 5.00pm-6.15pm British Eurosport Men’s Giant Slalom (2nd Run) LIVE: 9.00pm-11.10pm BBC Red Button / 9.00pm-10.15pm British Eurosport
Saturday 14th February Women’s Slalom (1st Run) LIVE: 4.45pm-6.15pm British Eurosport Women’s Slalom (2nd Run) LIVE: 9.00pm-10.15pm British Eurosport
Sunday 15th February Men’s Slalom (1st Run) LIVE: 4.45pm-6.15pm British Eurosport Ski Sunday Highlights: 6.00pm-6.45pm BBC Two Men’s Slalom (2nd Run) LIVE: 9.00pm-10.15pm British Eurosport