Ontario’s Patrick Biggs grabbed the top spot in a slalom race in Cerro Castor, Argentina last week as Canadian alpine skiers participated in FIS races for the first time in months in preparation for the upcoming World Cup season.
Biggs won the opening slalom of this season’s South American Cup in a time of one minute 35.33 seconds with teammates Paul Stutz of Banff finishing second and Toronto’s Scott Barrett fourth.
“There was some pretty good skiing in the slalom but it was apparent that everyone was a little rusty,” said Canadian men’s team head coach Paul Kristofic.
“It shows us right now where we are and how much work that we have to do, so it’s motivating for everybody. It sets the tone for the rest of the training camp,” he said. “Unless you’re winning all the time, there’s always plenty of work that you need to do.”
Earlier in the week, Jean-Philippe Roy was the top Canadian in a giant slalom. The Ste-Flavie, Quebec skier was second, with Biggs third.
Kristofic said the men’s ski team would continue training in South America throughout August but would not participate in any other South American Cup races.
The Women’s team will start training in South America later this month and will have athletes participating in FIS races in Catedral, Argentina as well as La Parva and El Colorado, Chile, said women’s team head coach Marjan Cernigoj.
The South American Cup is a FIS-sanctioned race series with similarities to the Nor-Am Cup race circuit. Races this season have had an international field including athletes from Canada, France, Spain, Great Britain, Chile and Argentina.
The World Cup season gets underway Oct. 28th to 29th with men’s and women’s giant slalom races in Sölden, Austria.
Canada will host a number of World Cup races this winter, starting with men’s downhill and super G races at Lake Louise Nov. 24-25. The women’s World Cup circuit is at Panorama Nov. 24-25 for GS and slalom events before moving on to Lake Louise for speed events Dec. 1-2.
The World Cup circuit returns to Whistler in February with women’s downhill and super combined events and men’s super G and giant slalom Feb. 21-24.
The speed events for the Canadian championships will be held on Whistler Mountain Feb. 9-12.