Quebecs Jasey Jay Anderson showed the world that a European passport is not a prerequisite for a World Cup victory with a convincing giant slalom win at Mont-Sainte-Anne on Dec. 17.
Although he is no stranger to the podium, placing second on Dec. 11 in the Blackcomb World Cup and racking up his share of medals in previous years, Anderson was the first non-European to claim a racing gold this season.
Anderson, who was fourth after his first run, ironed out a few of the rough spots on his second run to cross the line with a total time of one minute 58.68 seconds, almost a second ahead of the current World Cup points leader, Walter Feichter of Italy.
"Im really happy with my second run because it worked a lot better," said Anderson. "I let the board run, made a couple of mistakes, but definitely brought it back and kept the speed going.
"This year I really wanted to win Mont-Sainte-Anne and after the first run it was looking kind of sketchy but I knew I could do it I was seventh in Whistler after the first run, pulled it together in the second run and got second by two hundredths (of a second). Here I was fourth so I knew I could pull it off."
In the days leading up to the race competitors were worried about the snow conditions, which were actually good for a change. While the competitors were preparing themselves for some routine Quebec man-made hard pack, Mother Nature was delivering nearly 75 cm of powder to the region. It was a softer course than most competitors were used to, but race officials and trail crews worked overtime to iron out the bumps.
Feichter, who was ninth after the first run, managed to squeeze a second place finish and keep the yellow leaders jersey.
"I could have been even better, but Im happy with second place," said Feichter. "My major goal today was to keep the yellow bib."
Chris Klug of Colorado finished third, marking his first podium appearance of the season. This summer, Klug underwent a liver transplant operation and then dove back into training in the late fall.
Mark Fawcett was the next Canuck on the list, finishing in 15 th place. Darren Chalmers of Whistler was 18 th , Francois Boivin was 25 th and David Vaughan was 28 th .
The womens podium held few surprises with all three medal finishers from last year making a return appearance, only in reverse order. Karine Ruby of France claimed her record 50 th World Cup victory. Sondra van Ert and Rosey Fletcher finished second and third.
"Its just great to have Rosey and me share the podium again, but Karine is doing so well this season shes starting to scare us, winning races in each discipline," said van Ert. "Its just amazing."
Quebec boarder Melissa Barclay finished in ninth place, earning one of the two top-16 finishes required to secure a Canadian berth for the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was also the best race result for a Canadian woman all season.
Helene Cloutier and Alexa Loo also managed to crack the top-30 and earn FIS points, finishing 27 th and 29 th overall.