Calgary, Alta. (December 29, 2016) – It was big day for Alpine Canada tech racers with a top ten finish on both the men’s and women’s teams. Erik Read lands another top ten to finish sixth in the Santa Caterina (ITA) alpine combined and Erin Mielzynski is back where she belongs, finishing ninth in the Semmering (AUT) slalom.
Calgary’s Erik Read does it again scoring another World Cup personal-best result this season, this time in the alpine combined discipline. The 25-year-old started in his first World Cup alpine combined race today and made a mark on the competition finishing in sixth-place. Read skied to a 29th-place finish in the super-G run, the first leg of an alpine combined race, and put down a killer second slalom run to move up 23 spots, finishing in sixth-place overall.
“It’s pretty icy, dark and bumpy here, making the super-G challenging since I haven’t trained that much super-G,” said Read. “I went into today’s super-G really aggressive and with some fire to do well. The super-G was a technical set that favoured the giant slalom skiers so I knew I could take advantage of that.”
In giant slalom and slalom, Read has been wracking up personal-best finishes and proving he’s the king of the second run, making massive gains every time. The technical specialist relied on that ability to dominate in the second half of today’s race scoring the second-fastest slalom run time of the day, just 0.03 from the fastest time.
“I didn’t have much time to think about the second run,” said Read. “I knew I could ski slalom fast and I had a good chance of moving up. I’m really happy with today’s result!”
Today’s finish marks Read’s third top-ten finish this season, his fourth personal-best finish and his first World Cup points in the alpine combined discipline.
France’s Alexis Pintaurault had the day’s fastest time, winning by 0.34 seconds. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher finished in second-place and Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished in third-place, 1.13 seconds back from Pintaurault.
Toronto’s Mielzynski is back in the top ten after a tough start to the season. The 26-year-old finished the first run sitting in 12th-place. Pushing hard in the second run, putting together aggressive turns, Mielzynski climbed three spots to finish the day in ninth-place, a season-best finish for the tech veteran.
"It feels amazing to be back in the top ten, but it felt really incredible to be comfortable on my skis and be able to start putting my race plan into action,” said Mielzynski. “I finally felt like myself and with that, I know I can push myself harder. I took a different approach to today’s race and simplified absolutely everything about my skiing. Today, I stood in the start and imagined that all of my loved ones were at the bottom and I was going to ski for them. The conditions were good today. Although the course was a bit bumpy, the bright night skiing lights make the visibility incredible and the course workers shovelled out every gate. I’m really happy to head into the New Year with this result under my belt.”
Quebec’s Marie-Michèle Gagnon finished the first run in 14th-place. Gagnon went onto to straddle a gate early in the second run, resulting in a DNF. Valèrie Grenier from Quebec narrowly missed out on qualifying for the second run, finishing in 31st place, just a few tenths of a second out of a qualifying time.
Today’s women’s podium saw a familiar face with U.S.A.’s Mikaela Shiffrin going three-for-three in Semmering (AUT), winning by 0.64 seconds. Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova finished in second-place and Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener finished in third-place, 1.54 seconds back from the lead-time.
Today’s races mark the final ones on the calendar until the New Year.
Canadian men’s results
6 – Erik Read
38 – Tyler Werry
Full results here.
Canadian women’s results
9 – Erin Mielzynski
DNF 2nd run – Marie-Michèle Gagnon
DNQ – Valérie Grenier
Full results here.
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Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.