World Cup champions crowned in Italy 

Forsyth fifth to lead Canadians at World Cup finals

Almost four months of ski racing wrapped up last weekend at Sestrieres, Italy with the World Cup Finals. Only the top-25 skiers in each of the World Cup disciplines were invited to compete, with the last points of the season and the overall rankings on the line.

Four Canadians took part in the World Cup finals, with Thomas Grandi representing the men’s technical team and Fernie’s Emily Brydon, Quebec’s Genevieve Simard and Nanaimo’s Allison Forsyth representing the women.

The action got underway with the downhill on March 10. Brydon was the only Canadian in the women’s event by virtue of her 11 th place ranking in the standings.

She placed 14 th in the final downhill, dropping one position in the downhill standings to finish 12 th .

"It’s a bittersweet season, really," said the 23-year-old. "It was a strong, consistent season for me which is a great step in my career – I wasn’t a one-hit wonder, I was in there every race, challenging the best in the world. Being the 12 th best female in the world is nothing to be ashamed of.

"But on the other hand, I was so close to the podium so many times but made stupid little errors that cost me."

After making a stunning national team debut in early 2001, Brydon suffered knee injuries that kept her out of competition for almost two years. This was her comeback year.

"I really don’t think about my knees anymore," she said. "There’s no pain there, so there’s really no reason to think about it except for silly little thoughts that creep in, but I try to keep those out."

Renate Goetschl of Austria won the last downhill race of the 2004 season finishing 0.35 seconds ahead of Sylviane Berthod of Switzerland. Isolde Kostner was a close third.

Goetschl also took the women’s downhill title with 680 points. She was followed by Hilde Gerg of Germany with 546 and Carole Montillet of France with 492. Brydon earned 192 points to rank 12 th .

Other Canadians wound up farther down the final downhill standings. Anne Marie LeFrancois of Charlesbourg, Quebec was 33 rd , Kelly Vanderbeek of Kitchener, Ontario was 34 th and Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec was 36 th .

The final men’s downhill event went to Daron Rahlves of the U.S., followed by Fritz Strobl and Stephan Eberharter of Austria. None of the Canadian men qualified as one by one the leading contenders were sidelined with injuries over the course of the season.

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