Calgary, Alta. (December 13, 2018) – With improving snow conditions in Europe, the Canadian teams are ready to hit the start gates in World Cup action in the Italian Alps.
With solid training runs on Tuesday (11th) and Thursday (24th), Ben Thomsen, 31, is in the mix for Friday’s super-G and Saturday’s downhill races in Val Gardena.
Teammate Dustin Cook, 29, used downhill practice runs on Tuesday and Thursday to warm up for Friday’s super-G, his specialty. Cook, who has stepped onto the super-G podium in two World Cup races in 2015, was 14thin last year’s race in Val Gardena, and placed sixth there in 2016.
Jack Crawford, 21, has been consistent in his speed runs since the beginning of the season, and will also be racing over the next two days. The Toronto native will then join the tech team for the Alta Badia World Cup to test his skills in giant slalom and parallel giant slalom.
A Sunday giant slalom race in Alta Badia is on the schedule for the men’s tech team. On Monday, Dec. 17, the team will compete in the parallel giant slalom race.
In parallel slalom, only the top 32 fastest skiers from a preliminary qualifying run compete in a dual slalom where skiers race side by side in head-to-head competition. The winner of each heat advances to the next round of competition where they continue to ski on the same course, as many times as it takes to come down to the final duo. This new event was only added to the World Cup circuit a year ago and is decidedly one of the most exciting for spectators to watch.
While the Val d’Isère speed events were cancelled due to lack of snow and poor conditions for the women, both speed events were rescheduled to next week in Val Gardena.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon, 29, will be looking to best her sixth-place finish last weekend in St-Moritz.
Teammates Roni Remme and Valérie Grenier, both 22, are looking to capitalize on the momentum they have generated through solid performances on the last few World Cup stops - including Grenier’s head-turning, fifth-place finish in Lake Louise earlier this month.
“Jack Crawford is joining the inspection only to learn the Gröden speed track. We gave him a specific super-G training time in the early hours, before meeting everyone on the track for downhill inspection.
Every day on the race track counts to give him as much experience once downhill race-day comes. And then, he gets to join the tech team to free ski and train with them on the challenging Alta Badia race hill,” said the men’s speed team head coach, Martin Rufener. “Ben Thomsen will race the super-G (with a goal) to stay in a high-performance (mindset) for his target downhill race on Saturday. As for Dustin, he is going to score as many super-G World Cup points as possible tomorrow.”
Where: Val Gardena, ITA– Ladies & men
Alta Badia, ITA - Men
Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
Men’s super-G in Val Gardena
12:00 p.m. CET (Central European Time) / 6:00 a.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
Men’s downhill in Val Gardena
11:45 a.m. CET / 5:45 a.m. EST
Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018
Men’s giant slalom in Alta Badia
10:00 a.m. CET / 4:00 a.m. EST – 1strun
1:00 p.m. CET / 7:00 a.m. EST – 2ndrun
Monday, Dec. 17, 2018
Men’s parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia
6:15 p.m. CET / 12:15 p.m. EST
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018
Ladies’s downhill in Val Gardena
12:30 p.m. CET / 6:30 a.m. EST
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018
Ladies’s super-G in Val Gardena
11:30 a.m. CET / 5:30 a.m. EST
Where to watch:
Friday, Dec. 14 - Alpine Skiing World Cup on CBC: www.cbcsports.ca: (live stream)
6:00 a.m. EST LIVE – Val Gardena, ITA – Men’s super-G
Saturday, Dec. 15 - Alpine Skiing World Cup on CBC: www.cbcsports.ca: (live stream)
5:45 a.m. EST LIVE – Val Gardena, ITA – Men’s downhill
CBC-TV – Saturday, Dec. 15 – Road to the Olympic Games
5:00 p.m. EST Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's super-G - Val Gardena
Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Lac-Etchemin (QC)
Ben Thomsen, Invermere (BC)
Roni Remme, Collingwood (ON)
Dustin Cook, Ottawa (ON)
Valérie Grenier, Mont-Tremblant (QC)
Erik Read, Calgary (AB)
Jack Crawford, Toronto (ON)
Morgan Megarry, Collingwood (ON)
Phil Brown, Toronto (ON)
Trevor Philp, Calgary (AB)
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