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Weekend in Utah good and bad for team Canada

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Grandi, Forsyth and Janyk on top, Roy out indefinitely

It was a mixed weekend for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team as the World Cup resumed in Park City, Utah, from Nov. 21 to 24.

The Canadians started out strong in the giant slalom race on Nov. 21, with Nanaimo’s Allison Forsyth finishing eighth, and Whistler’s Britt Janyk finishing 10 th .

Forsyth was solid in both runs, posting times of 1:12.85 and 1:15:60 to finish with a total of 2:28.45.

"I still didn’t quite ride the edge of crash and burn," she said. "I didn’t trust my race-face, but to be top-10 has made me really hungry for the podium."

Janyk was slow in starting, and was 22 nd after her first run with a time of 1:13.98. She picked up the pace, and posted the second-fastest second run.

"It’s exciting to see your name on top of the leaderboard for so long – it’s where I see myself moving to more regularly," said Janyk. "The atmosphere on the team is great. Alli said she heard my result up top and it really pumped her up. We know if one of us is there, the other can be, too."

The week before Janyk was second and fourth in Nor Am Cup races against a World Cup field.

Brigit Heeb-Batliner of Liechtenstein won her first ever World Cup race with a combined time of 2:26.78. She was followed closely by Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria in 2:26.84, and Janica Kostelic of Croatia in 2:26.96.

In the second men’s giant slalom of the season, on Nov. 22, Banff skier Thomas Grandi finished in 13 th place with a two-run combined time of 2:24.38.

"I skied two solid runs and felt so in control on my skis," said the veteran. "I was one with my equipment and when that starts to happen I can build confidence to go faster and faster. I feel like I’ve stepped up my game."

Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie, Quebec, charged hard in his run, but fell on the second pitch. Although he got back on his feet and finished, he was too far back to qualify for a second run.

The following day it was revealed that he broke the radius bone in his right forearm after slamming into a gate in training. The team’s trainer estimates that Roy will miss at least six weeks with the injury.

Roy is more optimistic, and hopes to be ready to ski the giant slalom in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 15. "My legs are okay, so if I can hold my pole, I hope I can race GS in Val d’Isere," he said. "I’ll ride the bike and stay in the gym. With a plate and screws and a good cast I’ll be back as soon as I can."

Canada failed to qualify any women for the opening slalom competition on Nov. 23, as the warm temperatures and soft snow resulted in ruts that all but eliminated any racer who didn’t start in the top-30.

Janica Kostelic of Croatia was first in 1:39.61, Christel Pascal of France second in 1:40.31, and Sabine Egger of Austria third in 1:40.75.

In the men’s slalom on the following day, Grandi proved he is up to the challenge with a 15 th place finish in 1:47.90.

"I felt under control and in charge," he said. "Sometimes you’re out of control and have a fast run and don’t know how you did it. I know how I did this today and I can repeat it over and over," he said.

Once again Grandi attributed part of his success to his equipment. In this race it was a new pair of skis designed by Bode Miller from the U.S. Ski Team.

Grandi’s time was less than 1.4 seconds back of the gold medal time posted by Rainer Schoenfelder of Austria.

The World Cup season continues this weekend. The women will be in Aspen for a super G and slalom race, and the men will be in Lake Louise for a downhill and super G.

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