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Slow start for Canadian racers in Austria

Bourque earns Canada’s only points in giant slalom

The World Cup alpine season got out of the gate in Solden, Austria last weekend with men’s and women’s giant slalom races.

The women’s team raced on Saturday, with Italy’s Denise Karbon taking the gold, Julia Mancuso of the U.S. placing second, and Kathrin Zettel of Austria finishing third.

Canada was completely shut out of the points, with Brigitte Acton of Mont Tremblant skiing off course in her first run, and both Emilie Desforges and Gail Kelly of Quebec missing the top-30 in their first runs.

Things were slightly better in the men’s race, where Francois Bourque of Quebec placed seventh in his opening run, then dropped back to 14 th after two runs.

“I was a little timid in the second run and as a result I ended up with the 16 th fastest time,” he said. “I didn’t execute today to my maximum potential. It was really dark on the course and, with no trees on a glacier, I found it tough to get orientated.”

None of the other Canadian skiers earned points on the day. Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus Robbie Dixon and Toronto’s Scott Barrett did not finish their first runs, while Jean-Philippe Roy and John Kucera ranked in the top-30 after their first runs, but did not finish their second runs.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway picked up the gold medal, followed by Ted Ligety of the U.S., and Kalle Palander of Finland.