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Forsyth starts World Cup season with a fourth

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Alpine ski weekend ends in tragedy for French alpine star

After a disappointing first run that left her in 14th place, Nanaimo’s Allison Forsyth let loose on her second run to claim fourth at the World Cup season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27.

The 23 year old said she was tentative that morning, but refocused in the afternoon.

"I’m really happy with my fourth place because I was very disappointed with how I skied in the first run," she said. "I really prepared well mentally for the second run and skied very fast. I went straight down the hill, threw caution to the wind and it paid off."

Forsyth was one of Canada’s top women last season, finishing fifth in the final World Cup giant slalom standings with two silver medals and two top-10 finishes.

It’s no surprise that she was overcautious starting the day.

"I crashed here last year and the year before, so of course I’m happy to finish strong and to retain my position in the top five," said Forsyth, who finished with a combined time of two minutes and 30.51 seconds. "But I keep trying to get on that podium. I really want to win this year, and I think that it’s a very realistic expectation."

Austria’s Michaela Dorfmeister showed why she’s one of the top ranked skiers in the world with strong performances in both runs to post a combined time of 2:28:38. Sonja Nef of Switzerland was second in 2:28.79. Regine Cavagnoud of France, the reigning super-G champion, was third at 2:29.98.

The other three Canadians in the race didn’t make it to the afternoon’s second run. Genvieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec, finished 45 th from the 46 th start position, while Whistler’ Britt Janyk and Anna Prchal of Outremont, Quebec, finished 51 st and 52 nd after starting 28 th and 48 th respectively. Only the top 30 racers after the first run get a second run.

Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie, Quebec, was the only Canadian male to finish both runs on Oct. 28 at Soelden, finishing 26 th overall. Just making the cut after his first run, Roy went on to post the 13 th best second run of the day.

Because he only posted two top-30 results last season, "It was a good start to the season for me," said the 22-year-old Roy.

"Last year I qualified in my first race and I wanted to do it again this year. My first run, I was a little nervous and I didn’t let go as much as I could of. Second run, I let go of my skis, got a bit more speed and had a good run."

Whistler’s Ryan Oughtred and Banff’s Thomas Grandi both missed the second run cut by .4 seconds.

"We trained well and I’ll need some time to make the best out of it," said the 28-year-old Grandi, who has been on the World Cup podium in GS but has had to deal with a number of injuries in recent years.

"I’m happy to be totally healthy now, there’s no pain as there was in the past. I believe I’ll move up. We have a good group in the technical events and it’s nice to train all together. It’s nice to share the pressure with other teammates now."

France’s Frédéric Covili won the race, edging favourites Stefan Eberharter of Austria (second) and Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland, who tied for third with Sweden’s Fredrick Nyberg.

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