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Canadian skiers back in action in Utah


World Cup season resumes with technical events

After getting pushed around and beat up by the rough early season conditions in Austria, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team is gearing up for back-to-back races at the all-too familiar Olympic race site at Park City, Utah.

The men will be in action this weekend, Nov. 22-23, with a giant slalom on Saturday and a slalom on Sunday, followed by super-G and downhill events Nov. 29-30 at Lake Louise.

Seven skiers will travel with the team, although only four will race on any given day. The final decision will be made by the coaches prior to the race based on performances in training runs.

The Canadian men will be represented by David Anderson of Rossland, Francois Bourque of New Richmond, Quebec, Julien Cousineau of Lachute, Quebec, Thomas Grandi of Banff, Erik Guay of Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie, Quebec and Ryan Semple of Calgary. The coaches may decide to rest Guay, who competes in all four alpine disciplines, for the men’s speed events at Lake Louise.

The women’s team will likely bring five athletes to giant slalom and slalom events in Park City on the Nov. 28-29 weekend, including a member of the B.C. Ski Team.

Already qualified were Alison Forsyth of Nanaimo, Genevieve Simard, Whistler’s Britt Janyk and Gail Kelly.

The team held a time trial at a camp in Nakiska this week to determine who will earn the fifth spot. The honour went to Christina Lustenberger of Invermere, who is with the national development team after skiing for the B.C. Ski Team for the past two seasons.

"I am super excited," said Lustenberger. "My giant slalom has been strong all summer. We had great camps at the Farnham Glacier in B.C. and in Zermatt, Switzerland, where we concentrated on giant slalom and super G. It’s been a fantastic summer and now I’m looking forward to racing.

"Of course I’m a little nervous that my first race is a World Cup, but what can you do? The plan is just to go for the experience and not to change anything in my skiing."

The team may also decide to take Brigitte Acton of Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, last year’s overall Nor Am Cup champion.

The Canadian women’s team will follow the men to Lake Louise after Park City for a pair of downhill races and a super-G, Dec. 5-7.

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