Canadian skiers get mixed results at World Cup finals
The World Cup finals wrapped up in Lillehammer, Norway last Sunday, crowning world tour champions and setting the stage for next season.
All things considered, the Canadian team has a lot to look forward to with strong finishes in Norway, and respectable rankings in the overall standings.
Melanie Turgeon of Quebec City led the way for the Canadian team with a fifth place finish in the downhill on March 12, just 23 hundredths of a second back of the podium.
Turgeon, who had not been able to train coming into the finals because of weather conditions in Europe, made the most of her last downhill of the season.
"When we arrived here, there was fog. Wed wanted to train after Innsbruck (Austria) to help rebuild my confidence a bit, but we werent able to because of the conditions. My morale sank even more. So this morning, I told myself to put on a smile and I had to finish the season right," said the 26-year-old, who won the downhill title at the world championships in Switzerland last month.
Her goal this season was to finish in the top five on the World Cup downhill tour; she ended up eighth. She also finished 24 th overall in the final World Cup standings.
"I wanted to have a good race, but I made a rookie mistake I cut the line in a turn where I knew I couldnt do that. But I gave it my all."
Renate Goetschl of Austria won the downhill at Lillehammer, followed by Ingrid Jacquemod of France and Kirsten Clark of the U.S.
Antoine Deneriaz of France took the mens downhill. Austrias Stephan Eberharter was second and Daron Rahlves of the U.S. won bronze.
Eberharter had his revenge in the super G on the following day, blowing away the competition. Lasse Kjus of Norway finished with the silver, and the bronze went to Hannes Reichel of Austria.
The three Canadian women who qualified for the super G finals finished well back of the leaders. Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec, was 16 th , Turgeon took 17 th and Emily Brydon of Fernie was 19 th .
In the slalom, Thomas Grandi of Canmore finished 13 th , and ended the season in 16 th place.
"I had a good feeling in the second run, but near the end I completely lost my rhythm. I couldnt do anything to make up the speed on the flat," said a disappointed Grandi, 30.
"In summary, I think my season was pretty good. I cant say its better than what Id hoped I was aiming for more in GS this year, and I ended up with a better slalom ranking."
The mens slalom went to Giorgio Rocca of Italy, followed by Kalle Palander of Finland and Manfred Pranger of Austria.
None of the Canadian women qualified for the slalom finals.
The womens team was back on track for the giant slalom on March 16, with Allison Forsyth of Nanaimo finishing the day in ninth place.
"Im happy to be in the top-10 in the final race of the season," said Forsyth. "Im leaving the World Cup on a positive note. I need a break, but its hard because Im just starting to ski well (again) since the World Championships, and I almost wish the season was a bit longer."
Whistlers Britt Janyk finished 17 th after making a mistake in her second run.
"In the first run, I didnt attack enough. I skied really well, but not as fast as I could have. In the second run, I skied very fast, but unfortunately I made a mistake in the middle. But that happens, and I know Im skiing well. Im amazingly happy with my season," said Janyk, 22.
This season Janyk has nine top-20 results, including a fifth and a sixth in the giant slalom.
"I know that I still have a lot more to go, but I learned a lot," said Janyk.
The gold medal went to Karen Putzer of Italy, followed by teammate Denise Karbon and Nicole Hosp of Austria.
In the mens GS, Grandi was the lone Canadian to qualify, finishing in 22 nd place overall. Gold and silver went to Hans Knauss and Benjamin Raich of Austria. Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland was third.
The Canadian skiers finish their racing season in Whistler this week at the Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships.
World Cup Champions
Overall World Cup
1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia 1,570 points
2. Karen Putzer, Italy 1,100
3. Anja Paerson, Sweden 1,042
24. Melanie Turgeon, Quebec City QC 312
1. Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria 372
2. Renate Goetschl, Austria 368
3. Kirsten L. Clark, USA 316
8. Melanie Turgeon, Quebec City QC 149
1. Janica Kostelic, Croatia 710
2. Anja Paerson, Sweden 498
3. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland 367
29. Britt Janyk, Whistler 50
1. Anja Paerson, Sweden 514
2. Karen Putzer, Italy 513
3. Janica Kostelic, Croatia 343
17. Britt Janyk, Whistler 155
19. Allison Forsyth, Nanaimo 146
23. Genevieve Simard, Val-Morin QC 105
1. Carole Montillet, France 493
2. Renate Goetschl, Austria 458
3. Karen Putzer, Italy 394
14. Melanie Turgeon, Quebec City QC 163
22. Emily Brydon, Fernie 77
Overall World Cup
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria 1,333
2. Bode Miller, USA 1,100
3. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway 940
34. Thomas Grandi, Canmore AB 265
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria 790
2. Daron Rahlves, USA 593
3. Michael Walchhofer, Austria 430
37. Erik Guay, Tremblant QC 30
1. Kalle Palander, Finland 658
2. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia 580
3. Rainer Schoenfelder, Austria 542
16. Thomas Grandi, Canmore AB 154
1. Michael Von Gruenigen, Switzerland 542
2. Bode Miller, USA 425
3. Hans Knauss, Austria 365
18. Thomas Grandi, Canmore AB 111
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria 356
2. Marco Buechel, Liechtenstein 280
3. Didier Cuche, Switzerland 270
32. Erik Guay, Tremblant QC 30