Val Gardena men's downhill cancelled

Winter wonderland: but te snow in Val Gardena prevented the men's World Cup downhill taking place

The Val Gardena men's downhill was cancelled on Saturday because due to heavy snow and rainfall had made conditions dangerous on the Saslong course, said local organisers.

"The snowfall in the upper part of the course and the rain in the valley meant that the course was no longer skiable and the safety of the racers no longer guaranteed," they wrote on the event web site.

The governing body of skiing, FIS tweeted: "Today it's a NO go in @skiworldcup. Due to the snowfall, the warm temperatures and forecast, there is no chance to have a DH race today!"

"New date and location will be communicated soon," added FIS.

The organisers said this was the sixth time since it became a World Cup stop in 1969 that the Val Gardena downhill had been cancelled. The last time was in 2011.

On Friday, the super-G at the Italian Alpine resort was disrupted by fog and took several hours to complete.

On Sunday, the men's World Cup moves the short distance across the Dolomites to Alta Badia for a giant slalom.

Winter wonderland: but te snow in Val Gardena prevented the men's World Cup downhill taking place