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Turgeon leads team with a fifth

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Canadian skiers get mixed results at World Cup finals

The World Cup finals wrapped up in Lillehammer, Norway last Sunday, crowning world tour champions and setting the stage for next season.

All things considered, the Canadian team has a lot to look forward to with strong finishes in Norway, and respectable rankings in the overall standings.

Melanie Turgeon of Quebec City led the way for the Canadian team with a fifth place finish in the downhill on March 12, just 23 hundredths of a second back of the podium.

Turgeon, who had not been able to train coming into the finals because of weather conditions in Europe, made the most of her last downhill of the season.

"When we arrived here, there was fog. We’d wanted to train after Innsbruck (Austria) to help rebuild my confidence a bit, but we weren’t able to because of the conditions. My morale sank even more. So this morning, I told myself to put on a smile and I had to finish the season right," said the 26-year-old, who won the downhill title at the world championships in Switzerland last month.

Her goal this season was to finish in the top five on the World Cup downhill tour; she ended up eighth. She also finished 24 th overall in the final World Cup standings.

"I wanted to have a good race, but I made a rookie mistake – I cut the line in a turn where I knew I couldn’t do that. But I gave it my all."

Renate Goetschl of Austria won the downhill at Lillehammer, followed by Ingrid Jacquemod of France and Kirsten Clark of the U.S.

Antoine Deneriaz of France took the men’s downhill. Austria’s Stephan Eberharter was second and Daron Rahlves of the U.S. won bronze.

Eberharter had his revenge in the super G on the following day, blowing away the competition. Lasse Kjus of Norway finished with the silver, and the bronze went to Hannes Reichel of Austria.

The three Canadian women who qualified for the super G finals finished well back of the leaders. Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec, was 16 th , Turgeon took 17 th and Emily Brydon of Fernie was 19 th .

In the slalom, Thomas Grandi of Canmore finished 13 th , and ended the season in 16 th place.

"I had a good feeling in the second run, but near the end I completely lost my rhythm. I couldn’t do anything to make up the speed on the flat," said a disappointed Grandi, 30.

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