Women upset by bone-rattling downhill

By Simon Evans

WHISTLER (Reuters) - The women Alpine skiers have criticized their downhill course, labeling it "bumpy" and "rough" after their first full training run on Monday.

Downhill favorite Lindsey Vonn of the United States, the overall World Cup champion, said she was shocked by the condition of the course.

"It's tough. I honestly was expecting it to be a little bit better than it was...the course here is just so bumpy," she told reporters.

"I honestly was pretty shocked, it is one thing when you inspect and you think, 'OK its going to be a little rattley' but it was like jarring, it was a fight just make it down the whole way," said Vonn who has a bruised shin.

"I was barely in my tuck on any part of the course. It is probably the worst course for my shin," she said.

"I was surprised, really surprised, I almost went out off the course a couple of times but it wasn't bad skiing - it was fighting to make it down skiing.

"I feel like it's not the same as it is in the World Cup, I've never run a course this bumpy before --- it is not a feel good course, not a fun course, it is just a stick your nose in it and ski down course.

"If you are aggressive, you can be fast. I know what to do it is just a matter of fighting down the course," said Vonn.

Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby said she had never skied on a course as rough as the 'Franz's Downhill'.

"It was really, really bad on top, one of the worst I have ever made in fact," she told Reuters.

"There are holes on the top and they are soft, you can't go round them, you just have to go in them and they are too soft for them to just (repair) them," she said.

Asked whether she considered the course dangerous, Lindell-Vikarby said "I think so, yes."

Training plans over the weekend were scuppered by warm weather and rain but freezing temperatures overnight allowed the women to get a run in on Monday.

The women skied the upper part of the course, which runs parallel to the men's piste, before the men's downhill race and the lower stage after the men had finished.

World number two Maria Riesch of Germany said the lower part was not too bad given they had not built up much speed on the short run but she expected it too would rattle the bones in a complete race.

"It was pretty rough and bumpy and not so easy. The whole thing is bumpy actually -- the lower section was OK now because we came from the middle but if you come from the top and have a lot of speed it is going to be bumpy," she said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)