Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Norway's Svindal Fastest in Lake Louise Downhill Training, Canada's Guay Third

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Norway's Svindal Fastest in Lake Louise Downhill Training, Canada's Guay Third

Article excerpt

Guay encouraged by speed in training


LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - Among the fastest men in training for the Lake Louise World Cup downhill, Erik Guay felt there was even more speed in him.

It had been 20 months since his last race, but Canada's most decorated downhiller finished third in Wednesday's practice run. Norwegians Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud were first and second respectively.

The season-opening men's downhill is Saturday followed by Sunday's super-G at the mountain resort west of Calgary.

Guay owns 22 World Cup medals and a world downhill title from 2011. But the 34-year-old from Mont-Tremblant, Que., did not race in 2014-15.

His left knee took longer than expected to respond after a pair of knee surgeries in the spring of 2014. So Guay was encouraged by both skiing fast and feeling he had more to give Wednesday.

"I don't feel like I pushed that pace at all today," the Canadian said. "I wanted to have a good, solid, strong run with some good feelings and I think I attained that, but I also felt like there was a lot reserved.

"I think my focus here is just to really try to improve training run to training run, find my race pace and kind of re-establish myself among the elite skiers in the world."

Training runs are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Jansrud is the defending Lake Louise champion having swept the downhill and super-G last year. Svindal is a four-time winner at the resort, but didn't race a year ago because of a torn Achilles' tendon.

Svindal's time was one minute 49.51 seconds and Jansrud's was 1:50.23. Guay covered the 3.1-kilometre track in 1:51.14.

"As you can see with Jansrud and Aksel, there's still quite a bit of time to find in there," Guay said. "I have to say for the first run in months, I'm pretty happy."

Manny Osborne-Paradis of Invermere, Alta., was second in last year's downhill and is also the last Canadian to win in Lake Louise when he claimed super-G gold in 2009. He was 13th on Wednesday.

"There's always a chance to podium here," Osborne-Paradis said. …

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