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(E) Croatia will host World Cup race in January 2005
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  10/27/2003 | Sports | Unrated
(E) Croatia will host World Cup race in January 2005


Croatia will host World Cup race in January 2005


Croatia, home of champions Janica and Ivica Kostelic, will host its first alpine World Cup race in January 2005, ski officials said this week. The race, a women's night slalom, would be held on the Medvednica mountain outside Zagreb, according to Vedran Pavlek, director of the Croatian national ski team.

"The International Ski Federation (FIS) conduct several reviews of our preparations," Pavlek told Reuters. "The first one in November and the last one next September, when all the necessary work needs to be done if the night race is to be held on January 20, 2005."

Work on the course, which will include expanding the existing slopes and upgrading the ski lift, roads and lighting, is expected to cost some 62 million kuna ($9.54 million). "There is a lot to be done," Pavlek said. "But after all is done, Zagreb will be left with a ski slope that will expand its tourist facilities."

World Cup overall and slalom champion Janica Kostelic, who is recovering from recent knee surgery that will force her to miss the season opener in Soelden, Austria, next week, welcomed the news. "It's a big thrill to ski in front of your home crowd," Kostelic told the daily newspaper Vjesnik from a clinic in the Austrian ski resort of Schruns. "I don't think I'll be nervous; this will be an additional motive."

Pavlek said that if Croatia proved a good host it hoped to be awarded men's and women's slalom races in January 2006.


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