Wert back on feet in France 

Two weeks after crashing into the fence at Lake Louise – knocking himself out, partially separating his right shoulder, and having A silver stud ripped from his lower lip – Kevin Wert was back on his skis and racing in the Val d’Isere downhill last weekend.

And doing well. He finished 12 th , 1.5 seconds back of the leader, which as usual was Austria’s Hermann Maier.

With the win, the 24-year-old Hermanator became the third most successful Austrian downhiller in history behind Franz Klamer (25 downhill victories) and Helmut Hoeflehner (10 victories).

The Austrian skiers dominated in general, nailing seven of the top 10 positions. Stephen Eberharter, number two in the overall standings, finished number two and Andreas Schifferer finished third.

Wert’s 12 th place finish in the downhill was the highest of any Canadian male this season.

The downhill marked the 25 th anniversary of Ken Read’s win at Val d’Isere, the first ever by a Canadian male in World Cup competition.

In the giant slalom on the following day, Maier was flawless once again – his 33rd World Cup victory in his 100 th World Cup appearance. That means he has won one of every three events he has entered.

Teammates Heinz Schilchegger and Michael Von Gruenigen finished second and third.

The top Canadian in the French GS was Jean-Phillipe Roy, who finished 27 th after a near crash.

"It was a good day even if I missed a possible top-20 place because I fell at the end of the first run," said Roy. "I lost my balance in a turn and went down. I may have lost a second there, but I had a strong race today, with an easy qualification on the first run despite my start number (53)."

Roy’s training partner, Thomas Grandi is out with a slight muscle tear. Roy felt Grandi’s presence would have been a big help.

"I miss Thomas," said Roy. "It would be nice to train with him and share some information during the races."

The U.S. team managed to break the European stranglehold on the top 20, with Bode Miller finishing sixth, Erik Schlopy ninth and Daron Rahlves 17 th .

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