Sports Listings: Plan Ahead

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The Independent Online
If you are thinking of a skiing holiday in the New Year, the World Alpine Cup offers superb racing at the most prestigious European and north American resorts.

From January, when the World Cup has more than half-way to run, each country hosts one or more of the four disciplines of downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super-giant slalom in high-profile settings. The men's races at Kitzbuhel in Austria and Wengen in Switzerland and the women's events at Cortina, Italy, are popular with British visitors because of their proximity, but the circuit also covers the resorts of Lillehammer in Norway, host to the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, and Spain's Sierra Nevada, where the 1995 World Championships will be held. Prices at resorts in north America rival their European counterparts.

The Cup finishes in Sweden in March when the final races of the circuit will be staged at Are for the cream of both men and women. It will be open, by invitation, to the top-ranked 15 in each discipline.

As numerous tour operators specialise in skiing holidays, local travel agencies will advise what is available. The Ski Club of Great Britain also has its White Pages Ski Directory, detailing which operator goes where from the United Kingdon market. It costs pounds 1.50 (plus sae) from its Eaton Square headquarters.

Alpine World Cup

Remaining races from the New Year: Men: January: 9-10 Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Ger), downhill, slalom, combined. 12 St Anton (Aut), super- g. 16-17 Kitzbuhel (Aut), downhill, slalom, combined. 19 Adelboden (Swit), giant slalom. 23-24 Wengen (Swit), downhill, slalom, combined. February: 27-29 Whistler Mountain (Can), downhill, super-g. March: 6-7 Aspen (US), downhill, super-g. 13-14 Sierra Nevada (Sp), downhill, slalom. 20-21 Lillehammer (Nor), downhill, super-g. 23 Oppdal (Nor), giant slalom. 25-28 Are (Swe), downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super-g.

Women: January: 5-6 Maribor (Slovenia), slalom, giant slalom. 9-10 Cortina d'Ampezzo (It), downhill, super-g. 15-17 Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Ger), downhill, slalom, super-g, combined. 22-24 Haus in Ennstal (Aut), two downhills, slalom, combined. February: 27-28 Brigels (Swit), slalom, super-g. March: 6-7 Morzine (Fr), downhill, super-g. 13-14 Lillehammer (Nor), downhill, slalom, combined. 15 Hafjell (Nor), giant slalom. 20-21 Klovsjo/Verndalen (Swe), slalom, giant slalom. 24-28 Are (Swe), downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super-g.

Country information: Canadian Tourist Office, Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London SW1 (Tel: 071-930 8540); French Government Tourist Office, 178 Piccadilly, London W1V 0AL (Tel: 071-499 6911 - recorded information only). German National Tourist Office, 65 Curzon Street, London W1Y 7PE (071-495-3990); Italian State Tourist Office, 1 Princes Street, London W1R 8AY (071-408 1254); Norwegian Tourist Boad, Charles House, 5-11 Lower Regent Street, London SW1Y 4LX (071-839 6255); Spanish Tourist Office, 57 St James's Street, London SW1A 1LD (071-499 0901); Swedish Tourist Board, 29 Oxford Street, London W1R 1RE (071-437 5816); Swiss National Tourist Office, Swiss Centre, New Coventry Street, London W1 (071-734 1921); United States Travel and Tourism Administration, PO Box 1EN W1, Oxford Street, London W1 (071-495 4466).

Ski Club of Great Britain, 118 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AF. (Tel: 071-245 1033).