Grandi leads Canadian skiers 

Whistler skiers turn in solid performances

As the World Cup season winds down for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, there’s no question where the men’s MVP award is going – Canmore, Alberta veteran Thomas Grandi.

In the recent technical series at Kraniska Gora, Slovenia, Grandi pulled off yet another top-10 finish in the giant slalom, finishing 10 th in the giant slalom. He was also the only Canadian to qualify for the second run in the slalom event, where he finished 22 nd .

Aside from a handful of DNF’s, Grandi has been consistent all season. Since December, he has only finished outside of the top-20 once – in Slovenia – and has six top-10 results to his credit in slalom and GS.

He is currently ranked 13 th in the GS standings and 10 th in the slalom, and is 19 th overall on the World Cup circuit.

Grandi started the weekend well, standing second after the first giant slalom run. He had some problems in his second run, and fell back to 10 th place.

"I’m totally disappointed. Today I thought was going to be my day," said the 31-year-old veteran. "I felt like I was charging but I guess the course is so straight that despite what it felt like, I was loopy a little bit, so it’s costly. If you have that wrong approach it costs you every turn.

"If the course had been turn-ier I think I would have had a much better chance but I can’t control that so I have to learn to ski fast on the straight ones, too."

None of Grandi’s teammates, Jean-Philippe Roy, Ryan Semple or Francois Bourque, qualified for a second run.

Bode Miller of the U.S. took the gold medal ahead of Alberto Schieppati of Italy and Fredrik Nyberg of Sweden.

In the slalom on Sunday, Grandi was 23 rd after the first run and only succeeded in moving up one position with his second run. Grandi said the result was a wake-up call to get out of his comfort zone and start skiing more aggressively.

"I learned that in ski racing, even when you think you’re good, if you don’t push the limit every run, you’re not going to be fast… you’re not going to win."

Truls Ove Karlsen of Norway won the gold, followed by teammate Tom Stiansen and Austria’s Mario Matt.

The Canadian women’s technical team opted to miss a pair of World Cup slaloms at Levi, Finland over the weekend. Some of the athletes returned home for a Nor Am, while others took part in the Europa Cup races with the development team.

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