Alpine team announced, minus one 

31-athlete roster announced for 2011-2012 season, including new Whistler rookies

It's back to the drawing board for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, which announced its roster for the 2011-2012 season recently in Calgary.

For the national program it was a chance to look forward, shrugging off an injury-plagued season to refocus on the job at hand - building a team for the 2013 World Championships and 2014 Olympic Games.

They're going to have to do it without Whistler's Britt Janyk, the most senior racer on the women's team, who announced her retirement last week after a decade of World Cup racing. And while most of the injured athletes are expected to return, it's going to be a slow start for almost a dozen skiers rehabilitating breaks, concussions and torn ligaments.

Erik Guay, the downhill world champion and only Canadian to reach the podium last season, will lead the team into the future. He will be joined by veterans Mike Janyk - in the top five in four races last season - Julien Cousineau and Jan Hudec.

Three-time World Cup winner Manuel Osborne-Paradis and 2009-world downhill champion John Kucera are expected to return from injury, as will Kelly VanderBeek, Robbie Dixon, Jean-Philippe Roy and Francois Bourque.

"The returning athletes are key players for our team," said Canadian Alpine Ski Team athletic director Robert Rousselle. "They are veterans who will raise the level of competition."

Even with a core of veterans, the Canadian team is younger than most national teams on the circuit and this year will only get younger.

The women's team will include 11 skiers this year with an average age of less than 23. The oldest skier on the team is Kelly VanderBeek, a three-time World Cup medal-winner who is all of 28-years old.

Although Janyk retired, the number of Whistler skiers with the team remains the same with Madison McLeish stepping up from the development program to the national team this year after a solid showing at Nor-Ams and nationals.

The men's team will feature 20 athletes, with an average age just over 25. The oldest athlete is Jean-Philippe Roy at 33, and three other athletes turn 30 in 2011.

The men's team has a strong Whistler contingent already with Whistler Mountain Ski Club alums Mike Janyk, Manuel-Osborne Paradis and Robbie Dixon in the mix, while Morgan Pridy is joining the team as a rookie.

Dry land training for next season is already underway, less than two months after the national championships. With so many injuries last year the team will have its work cut out for it in the first part of the season, with many athletes climbing from lower start positions to better positions in the bib draw.

The 2011 women's team is comprised of Marie-Pier Prefontaine, Marie-Michele Gagnon, Erin Mielzynski, Brittany Phelan, Kelly VanderBeek, Anna Goodman, Larisa Yurkiw, Eve Routhier, Madison Irwin, Madison McLeish and Kelly McBroom.

The 2011 men's team is Francois Bourque, Julien Cousineau, Erik Read, Robbie Dixon, Jan Hudec, Trevor White, Michael Janyk, Louis-Pierre Helie, John Kurcera, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Jean-Philippe Roy, Brad Spence, Erik Guay, Dustin Cook, Kelby Halbert, Morgan Pridy, Andy Trow, Sasha Zaitsoff, Ben Thomsen and Philip Brown.

 

 

 

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