Speed team races for respect 

Canadians in top-30 in Norway downhill and super G, as WMSC skier earns first World Cup super G points

The Canadian men’s speed team is wrapping up its regular World Cup season on a high note at Kvitfjell, Norway with three in the top-30 of the downhill, and four in the top-30 of the super G – including a former WMSC racer.

Saturday’s downhill took place on the 1994 Olympiabakken piste, with Austria’s Hermann Maier claiming the top spot, followed by teammate Mario Scheiber and Switzerland’s Ambrosi Hoffman third. It was Maier’s first downhill podium in more than a year and his first downhill win since coming back from a leg injury that nearly ended his career.

Mont Tremblant’s Erik Guay, 23, finished 13 th , his sixth top-15 downhill result of the season. Francois Bourque of New Richmond, Quebec, was 23 rd , while World Cup rookie John Kucera of Calgary was 27 th .

With the result Guay is now 17 th in the downhill standings and earned a spot in the World Cup finals at Lenzerheide, Switzerland next week.

In the super G on Sunday, Maier won his second gold in 24 hours – and the 50 th win of his career. Didier Cuche of Switzerland was second, while Daron Rahlves of the U.S. stepped up to win the bronze medal.

Guay had nothing short of a breakthrough day, finishing in sixth place and just over half a second back of the podium.

"When I crossed the finish line I was kind of mad," said Guay. "I was super fast on the top section but then I made a few mistakes towards the bottom and I thought that my overall time would be slow.

"I think I probably would have been on the podium hadn’t I made the mistakes. But I can’t be mad because my goal was to attack 100 per cent and that’s what I did. I guess it’s also encouraging to know I still finished sixth despite making costly errors."

The finish put Guay in 17 th in the super G rankings as well, ensuring him a spot in the World Cup finals.

Francois Bourque, who won Canada’s only medal in the super G this year two weeks earlier in Germany, finished 12 th . Rookie Manuel Osborne-Paradis, an alumnus of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, was 27 th , earning his first World Cup points in super G. Kucera was 29 th .

Canadians in World Cup Finals

Downhill

Men – Erik Guay (17 th )

Women – Emily Brydon (17 th )

Super G

Men – Francois Bourque (13 th ), Erik Guay (17 th )

Women – Kelly Vanderbeek (18 th ), Emily Brydon (21 st )

Giant Slalom

Men – Thomas Grandi (2 nd )

Women – Genevieve Simard (6 th ), Allison Forsyth (14 th ), Gail Kelly (22 nd )

Slalom

Men – Thomas Grandi (13 th ), Michael Janyk (Whistler, 21 st )

Women – No women qualified

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