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Home advantage goes to Guay, Nyman nabs second in training run

Canada's Erik Guay in the opening training run (GEPA/Mario Kneisl)

Canada’s Erik Guay in the opening training run (GEPA/Mario Kneisl)

Bright sun, no wind, below freezing. It was a great day for ski racing, which was good considering there were 91 men on the start list for the first downhill training run of the World Cup season, the Lake Louise Winterstart in Canada.

Surgery in July to repair a knee injured in May training at Zermatt appears to have been a good call for Canadian Cowboy Erik Guay. The personable competitor aced the first downhill training run of the season, recording the fastest time at Lake Louise Wednesday (Nov. 27). He was clocked in 1:50.00 even, a little less than two seconds slower than last season’s winning race time.

It was a glorious day for North America, both because of the spectacular weather and race conditions and also in terms of results. American Steven Nyman had the second fastest time after leading most of the way along the 3,091 meter course. Marco Sullivan finished with the fifth fastest time and Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis the sixth. Switzerland’s Patrick Kueng was the third fastest competitor on the day, and Austrian Georg Streitberger the fourth.

In addition, Jan Hudec finished tenth and Erik Fisher 14th. Some slight variations to the course made the top portion much more interesting than it has been in recent seasons.

“Before that big left footer at the top they made it go in a little earlier. It was like that when I first race here,” said Nyman. “It makes it a little more technical at the top, and there’s lots of micro terrain up there.” The surface, he said, was nice, “A hard, hard surface,” but where he had anticipated being able to relax a bit he found it necessary to “stay active and stay on the skis.”

Guay agreed, saying: “I wanted to go hard, but I’m surprised I’m fast. I didn’t think I would be winning the run.” Guay, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee in July, added, “There’s lots of things happening out there, but it’s one of those things where it’s the start of the season and you don’t know whether you’re going to be quick or not. There’s no way of telling.”

“It’s trial by fire, for sure. There’s more terrain to it, it’s firm, and there’s lots of bumps to it,” Guay said of the course. “You don’t have time to hesitate on it. I did a good job, but I think there’s still room for improvement. If I want to be fast on Saturday I’m going to have to step it up a couple gears more, but so far I cannot complain with that result.”

Nyman actually led most of his way down the track and was ahead by nearly three-quarters of a second before a “pretty big mistake,” cost him first place. He said he found himself way off course and had to ski back into the line. “Everyboody had mistakes. Erik had a mistake and Erik Fisher did as well.”

“I like Lake Louise,” Nyman said. “I’ve won some training runs here before, and I’m really comfortable on my skis right now having worked a lot with Fischer over the summer.

Never known as being much of a glider, he said that was a focus in his pre-season work, and it appears to be paying off.

“It feels good,” he said, “but still, it’s just the first training run.”

“Lake Louise gives us home hill advantage. Friends and family are here and the race has a special energy you don’t get anywhere else,” said 2007 downhill winner Hudec prior to the training run. “There’s a lot of pride on the line. Anything less than a top 10 would be unsatisfactory.” He cut it pretty close, but could feel satisfied after the first of three scheduled training runs.

 

Results – Downhill Training Day 1

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  16  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:50.00
 2  30  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:50.20
 3  28  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:50.29
 4  17  50858 STREITBERGER Georg 1981 AUT  1:50.33
 5  3  533131 SULLIVAN Marco 1980 USA  1:50.37
 6  23  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:50.44
 7  4  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:50.45
 8  22  510727 DEFAGO Didier 1977 SUI  1:50.52
 8  14  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:50.52
 10  2  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CAN  1:50.69
 11  52  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:50.77
 11  13  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:50.77
 13  10  50753 KROELL Klaus 1980 AUT  1:50.78
 14  40  534939 FISHER Erik 1985 USA  1:50.81
 15  8  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:50.90
 16  15  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:50.94
 17  25  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:50.96
 18  39  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:51.01
 18  18  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:51.01
 20  24  560447 SPORN Andrej 1981 SLO  1:51.12
 21  32  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:51.15
 22  5  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:51.26
 23  29  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:51.34
 24  43  191591 BERTRAND Yannick 1980 FRA  1:51.37
 25  11  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:51.38
 26  59  103385 PRIDY Conrad 1988 CAN  1:51.56
 27  31  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO  1:51.58
 27  7  532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA  1:51.58
 29  36  103512 FRISCH Jeffrey 1984 CAN  1:51.64
 30  48  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan 1981 SUI  1:51.69
 30  33  201811 STECHERT Tobias 1985 GER  1:51.69
 32  68  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:51.72
 33  47  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:51.75
 34  19  51332 SCHEIBER Florian 1987 AUT  1:51.76
 35  6  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:51.78
 36  1  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:51.79
 37  69  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:51.84
 38  38  53981 KROELL Johannes 1991 AUT  1:51.94
 39  26  51327 PUCHNER Joachim 1987 AUT  1:51.95
 40  51  481705 GLEBOV Alexander 1983 RUS  1:52.00
 41  34  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:52.01
 42  56  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  1:52.02
 43  27  561067 PERKO Rok 1985 SLO  1:52.05
 44  9  191964 POISSON David 1982 FRA  1:52.28
 45  35  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT  1:52.34
 46  74  150398 BANK Ondrej 1980 CZE  1:52.35
 47  46  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:52.52
 48  42  293141 VARETTONI Silvano 1984 ITA  1:52.53
 49  41  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:52.56
 50  75  201987 STRODL Andreas 1987 GER  1:52.62
 51  54  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:52.72
 52  72  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:52.80
 53  37  511352 VILETTA Sandro 1986 SUI  1:52.85
 54  79  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN  1:52.89
 55  86  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA  1:52.95
 56  80  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:52.97
 56  62  201606 KEPPLER Stephan 1983 GER  1:52.97
 58  70  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:52.98
 59  77  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:52.99
 60  76  501076 OLSSON Hans 1984 SWE  1:53.04
 61  61  501439 HEDIN Douglas 1990 SWE  1:53.16
 62  84  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:53.44
 63  12  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:53.64
 64  71  491151 DE LA CUESTA Paul 1988 SPA  1:53.66
 64  63  193034 BOUILLOT Alexandre 1985 FRA  1:53.66
 66  64  510997 BERTHOD Marc 1983 SUI  1:53.76
 67  90  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DAN  1:53.84
 68  66  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:53.89
 69  87  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier 1981 FRA  1:54.17
 70  65  511142 LUEOEND Vitus 1984 SUI  1:54.30
 71  60  491129 TERRA Ferran 1987 SPA  1:54.33
 72  55  53936 DUERAGER Markus 1990 AUT  1:54.58
 73  57  103612 PRIDY Morgan 1990 CAN  1:54.60
 74  53  220695 CRAWFORD Douglas 1987 GBR  1:54.91
 75  81  102961 DIXON Robbie 1985 CAN  1:54.95
 76  85  430429 BYDLINSKI Maciej 1988 POL  1:55.18
 77  78  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:55.23
 78  50  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:55.42
 79  73  220874 BALDWIN TJ 1990 GBR  1:55.52
 80  49  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:55.75
 81  91  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:58.00
 82  58  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  2:05.58
 83  21  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  6:04.69
 84  45  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  12:10.38
 85  83  561109 FLISAR Filip 1987 SLO  12:15.77

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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