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Grandi continues to lead Canadian effort

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Three women in top-30

Banff’s Thomas Grandi helped the Canadian Alpine Ski Team start the new year on a strong note, leading the men’s technical team in giant slalom and slalom events at Flachau, Austria last weekend.

Over the last few races, frustration has been Grandi’s biggest motivator. Angry with himself after dropping eight spots in the giant slalom the day before, Grandi didn’t sleep much and attacked the "Hermann Maier Weltcupstrecke" slalom course with everything he had. That was good enough to leave him in 12 th place heading into the second run, his best slalom position of the season.

Not wanting to ruin that, Grandi skied more conservatively the second run, and dropped two spots into 14 th place – still his best slalom finish for the season.

"I was angry after yesterday, no question about it," said Grandi after the slalom. "I didn’t sleep last night, I was upset about the race.

"I could have done more, I had a great feeling on the second run and I know I could have gone faster… At one point down the course I guess I kind of decided I wanted to preserve that really good top part and bring it to the finish instead of just going all the way down as fast as I could.

"I’m kicking myself. (Technical team coach) Dusan (Grasic) will, too."

The result moves Grandi up in the rankings to 23 rd , improving his starting position at his next appearance.

Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie came close to making it two Canadians in the top-15, and was 0.02 seconds ahead of Grandi before he went off course on the final section.

"At the triple I couldn’t see the exit. I went too straight and I could probably have continued but I was all disoriented and lost. I should have tried to continue anyway, I might have succeeded," said Roy.

The race went to Kalle Palander of Finland, who was skiing with a cast on his arm because of tendonitis. Manfred Pranger of Austria was second, and Giorgio Rocca of Italy third.

In the giant slalom the day before, Grandi was the top Canadian in 19 th place. Roy was right behind in 20 th place after moving up 10 positions with a solid second run.

The women’s speed team also did well in the super-G at Megeve, France with Fernie’s Emily Brydon leading the Canadian team to three top-30 finishes. Brydon was 22 nd , and Anne-Marie Lefrancois of Charlesbourg, Quebec and Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec were 27 th and 30 th respectively to earn their World Cup points on the day.

Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria took the gold, followed by teammates Renate Goetschl and Michaela Dorfmeister in second and third.

None of the Canadians managed to qualify for the slalom the following day. Anja Paerson of Sweden took the top spot, followed by Marlies Schild of Austria and Martina Ertl of Germany. Brydon was Canada’s top racer in the first run, followed by Whistler’s Britt Janyk, but neither racer qualified for a second run.

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