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Whistler downhill is on Next week’s World Cup downhill should be a little wilder and a little more exciting than any previous race held at Whistler, according to Rob Boyd. The former World Cup downhill winner inspected the course with FIS World Cup race director Helmuth Schmalzl Wednesday morning, when Schmalzl gave the official word that the Dec. 5 race is on. Schmalzl said there was enough snow on the course as of Wednesday, "and if there is trouble with the weather there is enough snow on the side of the course." Whistler’s Boyd, who won on the Dave Murray Downhill course in 1989, said there is lots of snow, both natural and man-made, on the top sections of the course, so many of the natural ripples and contours have been filled in. But racing in December for the first time, the bottom part of the course will have a thinner cover of snow, which should mean the course will be a little rougher and wilder than it is in February or March, when there’s more snow filling. "It will be a new experience running in December. It should be exciting," Boyd said. Meanwhile, Schmalzl said there is lots of work still to do to prepare the course for next week’s first training run, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, but that is normal. "It’s a normal situation we have now. It’s normal to have to do lots of hard work to prepare for a World Cup race," Schmalzl said. He is satisfied with the snow and with the expanded safety system. "Safety is no problem. All the guys here have done an unbelievable job in the summer. They’ve met all the requirements from the FIS last summer." Schmalzl said the race will finish at the Timing Flats, rather than at the Creekside base. Snowmaking crews and course workers will try to lay down enough snow that racers can ski from the Timing Flats finish to the Creekside Gondola. Boyd won’t see the Whistler race. He’ll be in Aspen for a Ford King of the Mountain professional downhill.

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