Guay celebrates silver at Hahnenkamm 

Canadian men’s downhill team finishes Austrian race with four in top 20

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - SILVER CELBRATION Canada’s Erik Guay picked up a second place finish at the historic Hahnenkamm in Austria.
  • File photo
  • SILVER CELBRATION Canada’s Erik Guay picked up a second place finish at the historic Hahnenkamm in Austria.

For the 19th time in his skiing career Erik Guay stepped up onto a World Cup podium.

The downhill racer from Mont-Tremblant, Quebec moved a step closer to Canadian skiing history with a silver medal performance at the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria.

The reigning world downhill champion needs just one more podium finish to equal Steve Podborski’s Canadian record of 20 top-three finishes. Rob Boyd was the last Canadian man to achieve a podium placement in the Kitzbühel downhill after he finished third in 1991.

Guay finished the race a tenth of a second behind Italian Dominik Paris while Hannes Reichelt of Austria placed third on his home course.

“If ever there’s a place you want to podium its Kitzbühel,” said Guay, 31, after the race. “It’s definitely the Super Bowl of the World Cup. I’m definitely pumped with the day. I stepped up where I needed to. Now I’m really excited for Schladming.”

Guay will defend his world championship title next month at Schladming, Austria.

While Guay’s result is getting the bulk of the attention his teammates put in impressive finishes as well.

Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Vancouver finished 10th from the 40th start position while Invermere’s Ben Thomsen skied to 17th place and Jan Hudec of Calgary placed 18th.

Pete Bosinger, the men’s team head coach, said it was a great day for the whole team.

“The guys were in a great place coming in to this race and they felt very confident about what they were capable of,” Bosinger said. “Everybody knows the history of Kitzbühel and what it means to Canadian ski racing. Our guys kept to their plan, kept focused and went out there and took care of business.

“When you look at the results from the team – two guys in the top 10 and Erik’s second place – it shows that the team is incredibly strong. A lot of great milestones were accomplished here and there’s lots to celebrate but we know the season is still ahead of us and this is a team that’s ready to keep the momentum going.”

The women were racing giant slalom in Maribor, Slovenia and Canada’s Marie-Michèle Gagnon and Marie-Pier Préfontain finished 16th and 25th respectively.

American powerhouse Lindsey Vonn of the USA beat out Slovenian hero Tina Maze by 0.08 seconds to take victory. Austria’s Anna Fenninger was third.

Check for more sports results in the print edition of Pique Newsmagazine on Thursday.

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