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Friday, 8 December, 2000, 15:23 GMT
Kjus to boycott Val D'Isere
Lasse Kjus: Believes races are too close to each other
Lasse Kjus: Believes races are too close to each other
Lasse Kjus will boycott Saturday's World Cup downhill race in Val D'Isere in a continuing protest against the demands of race schedules.

The Norwegian is particularly aggrieved with the International Ski Federation's (FIS) timetable of races for the season, which has seen racing in North America one day and Europe the next.

He is supported by compatriot Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who has also boycotted the downhill in protest.

Their withdrawal from Saturday's race will give Austrian champion Hermann Maier the opportunity to open a sizeable gap in this season's championship.

Maier currently holds a 45 point lead over Kjus in the men's overall standings after three victories in downhill, super-G and giant slalom.

I must take breaks and focus on the races I do compete in
  Lasse Kjus

The double world champion, still searching for his first victory of the season, believes he needs sufficient time between races to recuperate and compete against Maier.

Stiff competition

He said: "I don't have the power of a Hermann Maier.

"I must take breaks and focus on the races I do compete in.

"If I'm in better form I can win races instead of being 10th three times.

"You need to win races, not just points, if you want the overall World Cup.

"And if I'm in bad health I can't win races."

Maier, who finished a disappointing 15th in the downhill season-opener at Lake Louise, faces stiff competition from fellow Austrian team-mate Stephan Eberharter.

Eberharter leads the current downhill standings with 160 points, 20 points ahead of Kjus and 44 ahead of Maier.

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See also:

03 Dec 00 |  Other Sports
Nyberg upsets big names
26 Nov 00 |  Other Sports
Maier storms the Super-G
26 Nov 00 |  Other Sports
Eberharter wins at Lake Louise
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