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Canadian technical skiers still looking for podium

Hudec injury bad news for speed team

With Canada’s speed teams already polishing six medals — five in downhill and one in super G — the men’s and women’s technical teams are looking to step on a few podiums of their own.

Jean-Philippe Roy of Quebec came the closest at Adelboden, Switzerland last weekend with a ninth place finish in the giant slalom.

Roy was 12 th after the opening run, and moved up three spots with a solid second effort.

“It feels good to be in the top-10,” he said. “I felt that I’ve been skiing pretty well in races and training lately and I knew that a result like this was possible today. I just had to make sure that I stayed focused on skiing well and let the result take care of itself.”

This was only the second time in his career that Roy has cracked the top-10 in giant slalom, although he missed most of two seasons with injuries and has had to climb back up the ranks after rehabilitating.

Roy’s two-run time of 2:28.81 was just 0.67 seconds back of the podium.

The winner was Marc Berthod of Switzerland, followed by teammate Daniel Albrecht and Austria’s Hannes Reichelt.

The following day, Whistler’s Mike Janyk — himself recovering from a back injury — cracked the top-30 in the slalom. He has now earned points in both races since returning to the national team in late December, and is looking to get back to the podium.

Janyk was 14 th after the opening run, but made a mistake in the second run to place 25 th .

“I started (the second run) nice and easy and then I made a mistake just before the first interval in a tough section,” said Janyk. “I’m at the point right now where I kind of lack that confidence that you need to take risks. As soon as I make one mistake, I kind of freeze and then just ski really conservatively.

“Then I opened up a little again and made another mistake down at the bottom. So it didn’t really work out as I had hoped but there are definitely some positives to take away.

“There is definitely another gear there but right now I just haven’t skied much lately and I’m kind of lacking that confidence.”

Austria’s Mario Matt won the gold medal, just ahead of teammate and World Cup points leader Benjamin Raich. Felix Neureuther placed third.

Paul Stutz just missed qualifying for a second run, while Jean-Philippe Roy and Patrick Biggs did not finish their first runs.

On the women’s side, there was even less to report.

In the opening giant slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, Christina Lustenberger came the closest to earning a second run, finishing 43 rd .

Denise Karbon of Italy picked up her fourth consecutive GS win. She was followed by Tanja Poutiainen of Finland and Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl.

No Canadians competed in the women’s slalom the following day. Marlies Schild of Austria took the win, followed by Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia and Maria Riesch of Germany.

This weekend the women’s technical teams are back in action at Maribor, Slovenia for another slalom and giant slalom, while the men are racing in a super combined event at Wengen, Switzerland.

Missing from the men’s lineup will be Jan Hudec, who has won gold and bronze medals in downhills this season. Hudec injured his knee during a training run at Wengen Tuesday, and immediately boarded a plane back to Canada to meet with knee specialist Dr. Robert Litchfield in London, Ontario. It’s unknown how serious the injury is, or how long it may take Hudec to rejoin the national team.