Calgary, Alta. (February 24, 2017) – Coming off huge results at the 2017 World Championships, Mont Tremblant’s Erik Guay and Vancouver’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis both finish in the top-five in the first of two Kvitfjell (NOR) downhill races. Although sunny skies and cold temperatures gave the racers good visibility and a solid track, high winds up top resulted in a lowered start for today’s race.
Guay, the 2017 World Championship downhill silver medallist, was narrowly edged out of a podium finish by Austria’s Mattias Myer who came down in bib number 18 and skied into second-place. Guay finished just .05 seconds back from third-place and 0.25 seconds from the first-place time.
“It was a challenging course today and the conditions really changed in the past few days,” said Guay. “In a few places I skied well and in a few places I gave it away and any little mistake can cost you a lot here. I’m a little disappointed with a fourth-place. I’ve been there a lot and I would’ve liked a podium but I know the speed is there for tomorrow. If you want to win races, you have to stick your nose into it and do a bit more than everyone else but the one or two baubles I made really cost me today.”
Wearing bib number 12, Osborne-Paradis, who had a podium finish on this track in 2015, finished in fifth-place today, 0.34 seconds from the winning time. This fifth-place finish comes after Osborne-Paradis finished with a super-G bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships.
“I’m pretty happy with today sitting in fifth-place,” said Osborne-Paradis. “I love Kvitfjell and I needed to secure a spot for World Cup Finals which I did today with this result. Obviously I want to be on the podium but here I find it’s tough to be consistently fast and any mistake can really cost you, but that’s just ski racing. I’ve had a lot of top-fives here but I’m going into tomorrow with the same approach and maybe ski a little smarter.”
Today’s downhill is the first of two taking place this weekend with today’s race making up for the cancelled downhill earlier this season at Lake Louise (CAN).
Slovenia’s Bostjan Kline was today’s champion with the fastest time of 1:29.20, claiming his first ever World Cup victory. Myer finished in second-place and hometown hero Kjetil Jansrud landed on the podium in third-place in front of his Norwegian fans, 0.20 back from the winning time.
The ladies’ alpine combined was contested today in Crans Montana (SUI) where warm temperatures and fog wreaked havoc on the track. After multiple DNFs, the start time was rescheduled giving a second chance to the first three racers that had already pushed out of the gate once. Lac Etchemin’s Marie-Michèle Gagnon didn’t let the conditions and time adjustments bother her and skied to a fourth-place finish in the super-G portion of the race.
With a deteriorating slalom track, Gagnon was unable to make up any time running the course 27th. Gagnon finished the alpine combined race in sixth-place, matching her 2017 World Championship alpine combined result.
Toronto’s Candace Crawford finished the super-G in 39th-place. After racing the slalom run, Crawford moved up a few spots finishing in 29th-place.
Top members of the American team, including Lindsay Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, pulled out of today’s race citing unsafe conditions for the super-G.
The women race a super-G tomorrow at Crans Montana (SUI).
Canadian men’s results
4 – Erik Guay
5 – Manuel Osborne-Paradis
56 – Dustin Cook
DNF – Broderick Thompson
DNF – Jeffrey Frisch
Canadian’s ladies’ results
6 – Marie-Michèle Gagnon
29 – Candace Crawford
DNF – Valérie Grenier
DNF – Mikaela Tommy
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