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Mixed weekend for speed skiers

Jan Hudec, Erik Guay in top six in Lake Louise Winterstart Super G



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Dixon was just happy to be back in the points with his own 25th place result.

"It was a good start," he said. "I definitely wanted to get in the points — that was a big thing for me this weekend."

Thomsen finished just outside the top 30 in 34th, while Erik Guay had a tough day and placed 44th. Helie was 46th, Kelby Halbert 52nd, and teammates Ryan Semple and Whistler's Conrad Pridy were tied for 59th.

Although the weekend might have been discouraging, no doubt it was inspirational as well. Didier Defago is one of the oldest active skiers on the World Cup tour at 37 years old, and he came away from the weekend with a gold medal in downhill and a silver in super G. By comparison, Hudec and Guay are the most senior member of the men's team at 30 years old, and neither skier is looking to retire.

Cuche's time in the downhill was 1:47.28, followed by teammate Beat Fuez in 1:47.34. Austria's Hannes Reichelt was third in 1:47.36.

The men's next races are at Beaver Creek, Colorado this weekend with a downhill, giant slalom and super G on the calendar.

Technical team cracks top 30 at Aspen

The Canadian women's technical team has been going through a rebuilding process in recent years with the loss of several top athletes to injuries and retirement, and if the recent races at Aspen, Colorado are indication the work is going well.

In the slalom on Sunday, both Canadian skiers finished in the top 20 with Marie-Michele Gagnon in 11th and Anna Goodman placing 20th.

Goodman and Gagnon were eighth and 10th respectively after the first run. Goodman made an error on the bottom part of her second run to slip back 12 positions, but is still happy with her day.

"On my first run I skied really well," she said. "The first half of my second run was really good — I just didn't ski well on the bottom part. I know that I'm skiing well — especially coming back from two big injuries."

Gagnon was also satisfied. "The first run I really went all out, I attacked. I didn't get into the rhythm right away but then at the bottom I totally crushed it. On the second run it was pretty good skiing, but it was missing some 'oomph.' It's a really good start for me. It was not my best skiing and I was still 11th."

Erin Mielzynski almost earned points, but placed 31st after the first run — just four one-hundredths of a second back of getting a second run. Eve Routhier and Elli Terwiel did not finish their first runs.