Thomsen top Canuck at Lake Louise 

Sports briefs: Lucky 13 for Canadian women at Vermont technical events

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MALCOLM CARMICHAEL/ALPINE CANADA - TOP CANUCK Ben Thomsen posted the best Canadian finish at the men's Lake Louise FIS World Cup last weekend, taking 15th in the downhill.
  • Photo by Malcolm Carmichael/Alpine Canada
  • TOP CANUCK Ben Thomsen posted the best Canadian finish at the men's Lake Louise FIS World Cup last weekend, taking 15th in the downhill.

Benjamin Thomsen posted the best Canadian result of the two-race Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Lake Louise, Alta. on the weekend.

The Invermere native took 15th overall in the downhill on Nov. 24, putting up a two-run time of one minute, 47.66 seconds (1:47.66) to finish 1.48 seconds back of champion Max Franz of Austria.

"This has never been my course, I've always struggled here and the best I ever did in downhill in Lake Louise was 29th, so making it in the top 15 is amazing. I am very excited and a little emotional from everything I've been through in the last few years but also with all the ups and downs our speed team just went through this past week. My time came as a shock when I crossed the finish line, I am definitely in a very good state of mind right now," Thomsen said in a release.

A pair of Italians rounded out the podium as Christof Innerhofer and Dominik Paris were second and third, respectively.

Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) alums Jack Crawford and Brodie Seger finished 44th and 56th, respectively, while Jeff Read and Sam Mulligan were back-to-back in 65th and 66th, respectively.

In the Nov. 25th super-G, Dustin Cook put up the best Canuck performance of the day with a 16th-place showing. The Ottawa native was 1.26 seconds back of winner Kjetil Jansrud of Norway after posting a 1:34.78. Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr and Switzerland's Mauro Caviezel rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively.

Crawford improved his fortunes, jumping to 27th, while the remaining Canadians found themselves bunched up, as Thomsen, Read and Seger were 47th, 49th and 50th, in order.

WMSC grad Manny Osborne-Paradis crashed in training on Nov. 21 and is out indefinitely after fracturing his fibula and tibia. The crash prompted teammate Erik Guay to immediately retire instead of waiting until the season's end as originally planned.

Lucky 13th for Canadian women in Vermont

The Canadian women's technical team was in Audi FIS Ski World Cup action in Killington, Vt., with the top result in both the slalom and giant slalom coincidentally turning out to be 13th.

In the giant slalom on Nov. 24, Marie-Michele Gagnon scored a time of 1:53.54 to finish 2.21 seconds back of champion Federica Brignone of Italy. Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel and Austria's Stephanie Brunner took second and third, respectively, while Mikaela Tommy was the only other Canadian to finish two runs, ending up in 26th.

In the Nov. 25 slalom, Roni Remme was the Canadian to slip into 13th, with her 1:47.77 result placing her 4.52 seconds off American Mikaela Shiffrin's winning pace. Slovakia's Petra Vlhova and Sweden's Frida Hansdotter also hit the podium in second and third. The only other Canadian to finish was Laurence St-Germain, who was right behind Remme in 14th.

Harle 17th in Austria

Whistler resident Teal Harle couldn't quite put a run together in finals of the FIS World Cup slopestyle ski event in Stubai, Austria on Nov. 23.

Harle scored a 46.82 to end up in 17th, while Sweden's Henrik Harlaut claimed the crown with a score of 88.88. American Mac Forehand and Norwegian Ferdinand Dahl took second and third, respectively. Other Canadians cracking the final were: Philippe Langevin (10th); Max Moffatt (14th); and Patrick Dew (15th).

On the women's side, Whistler's Yuki Tsubota narrowly missed finals, finishing ninth overall as the top-finishing Canadian. Estonia's Kelly Sildaru scored 88.46 to roll to the win over Swiss challengers Sarah Hoefflin and Mathilde Gremaud.

Blouin podiums in Chinese big air

Canadian snowboarder Laurie Blouin blew up in Beijing on Nov. 24.

In big air action, Blouin earned a score of 156 to take third behind winner Anna Gasser of Austria (182.25) and Miyabi Onitsuka of Japan (176).

Max Parrot was the highest-finishing Canadian man, taking eighth with a 119.5 score. Sweden's Sven Thorgren's 184 was good enough for the win ahead of Japan's Takeru Otsuka (176.25) and Austria's Clemens Millauer (169).

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