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Patrick Biggs win Canadian national slalom title; Paul McDonald third

Patrick Biggs win Canadian national slalom title; Paul McDonald third{mosimage}MONT-STE-ANNE (Québec), March 20, 2005 Yesterday, during the women’s slalom, Emily Brydon from Fernie (C.-B.) reached another milestone by winning a 4th consecutive title following wins in downhill, super G, slalom, and combined at the 2005 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships. By doing so, she equaled the mark set by Nancy Green in 1967. Today, the spectators anxiously waited for the men to hit the slalom course in order to crown a new slalom champion. Patrick Biggs from Ottawa stole the show, winning his first career national title and concluding a successful season.

The first day of spring was marked by the first men’s technical events at Mont-Sainte-Anne. The warm sun and the increasing temperatures allowed the fans to enjoy an exciting show, which showcased top skiers battling soft snow on the Beauregard piste. Three of the 98 racers made it onto the podium, namely Patrick Biggs, Michael Janyk and Paul McDonald.

Patrick Biggs, a racer who grew up competing for the Ottawa Ski Club and a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, took a great lead right from the first run which was sufficient for him to clinch the title with a time of 1.50.46.

« The snow was soft all week’ admitted Biggs who accomplished three World Cup top 10 results in slalom this winter. ‘I had troubles with the soft snow in Tremblant, but I trained on this type of snow this week and I started to get used to the way I had to carve my skis. I saw the difference today. »

« I had a really good first run which gave me a good momentum to win the title’ he added. ‘The conditions in the second run were a bit harder. The Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships slippers did a tremendous job!, » added the 22 year-old skier.

« I was a bit nervous because my parents were there. I usually don’t do well on those days’ said Biggs laughing. ‘At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think I would go so far in slalom. I’m really happy with my race,» concluded the Australian-born athlete who moved to Canada when he was 5 years old.

Michael Janyk from Whistler (BC), whose sister – Britt came in 2nd place in yesterday’s women’s slalom also came in 2nd overall after clocking in the 5th best time of the first run.

« I don’t think my first run was very good’ admitted Janyk. ‘I made a lot of mistakes. But, I did so well in the second run, skiing the ruts, » he pointed out. « Last year, my sister and I got the slalom titles. She followed my steps since the men’s slalom was held before the women’s race.
This year, she finished second and so did I. Next year, I hope the men’s slalom will be held first so that I can set the tone and clinch a first place, » concluded the racer who crossed the finish line in a combined time of 1.50.81.

An American slipped in the podium rankings. Paul McDonald from New Hampshire skied to 3rd place with a time of 1.51.09.

« This is by far my best result at any National Championship’ said McDonald. ‘I’m very satisfied with the way I skied the first run but I was too direct in the second one. »

« I had a lot of fun in the past few days. I like coming to Canada because I have a lot of friends on the Canada ski team. I’m very happy to end my slalom season this way. It’s nice to get the best American result of the day, you can hardly ask for more. »

Interesting fact : Patrick Biggs and Paul McDonald are both enrolled at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire. While Biggs pursued engineering studies, McDonald studied Economics. The two interrupted their studies to join their respect National ski teams.

In addition to the Canadian podium finishes, Ontario’s Nick Zoricic finished 4th, Gaspésie’s François Bourque clinched the 5th spot, Calgary’s John Kucera clinched 7th, Whistler’s Scott Hume came in 8th and Mont-Tremblant’s Stefan Guay came in 9th.

Today also allowed the crowning of the 2005 Pontiac GMC national combined champions. François Bourque took home gold, besides John Kucera (2nd) and Stefan Guay (3rd).

National Ski Team veteran, Thomas Grandi from Canmore (AB), did not take part in the race. The winner of two consecutive World Cup giant slalom races in Alta Badia and Flachau this winter was slightly injured during the World Cup slalom at the finals in Lenzerheide. Team doctors evaluated Grandi’s back and recommended that he interrupt his training and head home for further evaluation. Grandi flew home today and will not be taking part in the men’s giant slalom.

Monday will see the final women’s race at the 2005 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships. The Beauregard will host the nation’s top giant slalom racers as Emily Brydon will attempt to become the first female racer to win 5 consecutive national titles in the same year. The fight will be tough with several racers also shooting for the top spot.

More than 250 ski fans logged on www.canski.org to follow the race results live. The remained of the 2005 Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships will be webcasted on : http://www.acapoints.ca/e/html/results/e_live.asp.

TOP-10

1 (5) BIGGS Patrick [OSC] – SR 0:52.73 0:57.73 1:50.46
2 (4) JANYK Michael [WHIST] – SR 0:53.79 0:57.02 1:50.81
3 (3) MCDONALD Paul [USA] – SR 0:53.35 0:57.74 1:51.09
4 (17) ZORICIC Nick [CRAIG] – SR 0:53.47 0:57.92 1:51.39
5 (8) BOURQUE Francois [PIN] – SR 0:54.27 0:57.17 1:51.44
6 (12) KENNISON Scott [USA] – SR 0:54.37 0:57.49 1:51.86
7 (20) KUCERA John [CARC] – SR 0:54.67 0:57.48 1:52.15
8 (13) HUME Scott [WHIST] – SR 0:54.02 0:58.25 1:52.27
9 (21) GUAY Stefan [TREMB] – J2 0:55.13 0:57.77 1:52.90
10 (19) HARDY Greg [USA] – SR 0:55.08 0:57.95 1:53.03

EVENTS TO WATCH OUT FOR ON MARCH 21, 2005 :
* 9:00 – Women’s giant slalom – Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships
(Mont-Ste-Anne)

EVENTS TO WATCH OUT FOR ON MARCH 22, 2005 :
* 9:00 – Men’s giant slalom – Pontiac GMC Canadian Championships
(Mont-Ste-Anne)

TELEVISED RACE ACTION AVAILABLE ON SATELITTE Mars 20, 2005: 17:15 – 17:30 Eastern – Slalom (M) Mars 21, 2005: 17:15 – 17:30 Eastern – Giant Slalom (W) Mars 22, 2005: 17:15 – 17:30 Eastern – Giant Slalom (M)

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