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French skiers dedicate race to Cavagnoud

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Canadians finish back in the pack

A day after Canadian skiers Allison Forsyth and Genevieve Simard finished second and 15th respectively in a World Cup giant slalom at Copper Mountain, Colorado, the Canadians struggled in the slalom. Three of the four Canadian entries in the Nov. 22 race didn?t qualify for a second run. Forsyth finished 24 th overall.

The real story of the race was the French skiers, who are still reeling from the death of teammate Regine Cavagnoud earlier this month, resulting from a collision with a German coach during a training run. Cavagnoud was the reigning world super-G champion, and one of France?s best bets for a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

It was an emotional day for Laure Pequegnot, who won her first ever World Cup gold medal in the race she and her teammates had previously dedicated to Cavagnoud. It was also her second ever World Cup podium appearance.

The 26 year old won both runs with a time of one minute 37.64 seconds, but by exceptionally narrow margins over Christine Sponring and Carina Raich of Austria, who finished in 1:37.81 and 138.72 respectively.

Christel Pascal Saioni, another French skier, finished just 0.11 seconds out of third place with a time of 1:38:83 to take fourth overall. Vanessa Vidal was the third French skier in the top 15, finishing the day in 13 th place.

The World Cup skiers are at Lake Louise, Alberta, to compete in super-G and downhill events from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Although snow is a problem once again this year, last week lake Louise received the go-ahead nod from the International Ski Federation.

Crews were snow-making 24 hours a day, and hanging nets in preparation for the race.

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