Canucks can't crack top 10

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- So much for the home-hill advantage.

The Canadian men's alpine ski team had another disappointing showing yesterday at the Winterstart World Cup, finishing outside the top-10 in the super giant slalom.

The Canadians also failed to notch a top-10 finish in Saturday's downhill.

Erik Guay of Mont Tremblant, Que., finished 11th in the super-G to go with his 17th-place in the downhill a day before.

"I wasn't happy with my results yesterday and I wanted to redeem myself today but it wasn't an easy course," said Guay, who clocked a time of one minute 26:94 seconds to end his day almost a full second behind first-time winner Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.

"Speeds were high and it was an aggressive course ... You try and learn from every race and take the positives and the negatives and build from them."

Svindal made it down the 2,542-metre course in 1:26.04. Austrian Benjamin Raich finished second in 1:26.11, with American Daron Rahlves third in 1:26.12.

Guay's compatriot Francois Bourque blamed an equipment malfunction for his 26th-place finish.

"It was pretty good until I hit a gate on my head and my helmet moved back," said Bourque.

Jeff Hume of Whistler, B.C., was 39th in 1:29.49.

Calgary's Brad Spence suffered a dislocated shoulder after crashing late in the day. Teammates John Kucera of Calgary and Whistler's Manuel Osbourne-Paradis also didn't finish the course.

Guay -- who became the only Canadian skier to podium at Lake Louise when he won silver in 2003 -- still needs another top-10 World Cup finish to earn an Olympic berth for next year's Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. But Guay said the weekend was not a bust.

"In general I'm happy and hopefully I can move forward and get better results in Beaver Creek, (Colo., next weekend) and in the Olympics," he said. "We got reports that it was a really challenging course and guys were making mistakes ... I could've maybe taken some more chances but if you look at (Austrian Hermann) Maier, who pinned it 100 percent and made some big mistakes, it could've been a lot worse."

Maier was on a record-setting pace near the top of the hill when he went wide into a turn and lost more than a second, finishing 21st in 1:27.54.

American Bode Miller, who won both the downhill and super G at Lake Louise in 2004 before capturing the overall World Cup crown, fell on his hip yesterday near the top of the course and finished 18th in 1:27.35.


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