Canadians off pace at Winterstart

DARREN FRIESEN, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

LAKE LOUISE -- With the mercury falling, the Canadian men's ski team is hoping to heat up.

Through the cold and snow at the Winterstart World Cup, our country's top racers have yet to post any scorching results during three days of training.

However, according to most of them, it's a slight adjustment here and there, plus an extra layer of clothing, that will produce the desired results.

"I was frozen everywhere when I got down," said Quebec's Erik Guay, who finished 18th with a time of 1:53.25 on the final day of training.

"I'm told it's going to be even colder (today), which could be positive because some racers don't like to race in those conditions. As an athlete, you've got to take what comes and deal with it."

The powerful Austrians didn't appear to have any trouble with the weather as they finished one through five, with Andreas Buder taking the top spot in 1:51.56.

"It felt slower today because of the new snow," said Buder, who was told following his win he wouldn't be one of 11 Austrian racers competing in the season's first downhill today.

Topping the Canadians' list all week was Vancouver native Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who finished 10th and 22nd during the first two test passes.

He lost momentum yesterday and finished 38th (1:54.28).

"I had some good sections and some bad. I'm not really sure what I did in the middle section but I wasn't really happy with it," said Osborne-Paradis.

"(Today) I will be more race-ready and throw myself down the hill. I put a lot of pressure on myself but I enjoy pressure."

Forecasters were predicting more snow last night, plus a drop in temperature to -21C, which no doubt adds to the degree of difficulty for the racers.

"On race day, we have to deal with all kinds of conditions and I'll take whatever comes," said Guay, 25.

New Richmond, Que.'s Francois Bourque, who just missed the podium in Turin, echoed his team-mates' sentiments.

"The conditions were tough (yesterday) but we have to live with whatever we are presented with," said Bourque, who finished tied for 38th.

Today's downhill is the first speed event of the 2006-07 season and is followed by tomorrow's super-G.

NO MORE BOOZIN':

The party is over for Bode Miller and his teammates after the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association imposed a tough new code of conduct for the World Cup season starting this weekend at Lake Louise.

The new code has a revised alcohol policy and requires all athletes to have their travel and accommodation arrangements approved by coaches.

The new guide, which also prohibits athletes and coaches from drinking together and at team functions, was not designed specifically to put the breaks on Miller's party lifestyle.


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