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Grandi, Guay lead Canadian efforts at Beaver Creek

Miller continues new-found dominance in speed events; Austrians starting to pick up pace


Mont Tremblant’s Erik Guay continued to shine for the Canadian team at Beaver Creek, Colorado last week, netting yet another top-30 finish for his collection.

He crossed the finish line of the challenging Birds of Prey super G course Dec. 2 in 16 th place, but could have finished higher without a mistake at the top of the course. Guay admitted that he still has a way to go mentally before he can find his way back to the podium.

"I think it was a fairly decent run starting from halfway to bottom," said Guay, who had the third-fastest final split. "I made a mistake at the top. You need to bring all your speed off the top part into the flatter area. I came in a little bit too direct, got pushed backseat, and sort of chucked that turn so I lost quite a bit.

"It’s just a matter of getting my confidence back and going harder, letting everything go more," said Guay, who finished 15 th in the downhill and 21 st in the super G at Lake Louise the previous week in his very first races after knee surgery last winter.

Austria’s Stephan Goergl came out of nowhere to win his first World Cup at Beaver Creek, while American Bode Miller, who had won the first three races of the World Cup season, had to settle for second. Mario Scheiber, another Austrian skier, was third.

Jan Hudec of Banff also made the points for Canada, finishing 26 th – his second top-30 of the season, and an encouraging sign that he has recuperated from a ligament tear last season.

"I skied as fast as I could," he said. "I just have to clean it up for tomorrow. Some points are better than no points. But my expectations were higher."

Francois Bourque of New Richmond, Quebec finished 35 th , and Whistler’s Jeff Hume was 49 th .

In the downhill the following day, the Canadians were shut out of the points while Bode Miller stepped up to claim his third victory in four races, ahead of teammate Daron Rahlves. Austria’s Michael Walchhofer was third.

Guay looked capable of a top-10 finish or possibly even a podium until he lost his timing on the lower section of the course. In the last hundred metres, Guay caught an edge on the snow, and skied through the finish line with one leg still up in the air. He was 36 th .

Jan Hudec was 38 th and Jeff Hume 53 rd .