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Guay gives Canada first downhill victory in 13 years

Guay gives Canada first downhill victory in 13 years

The days of Crazy Canucks may be back.
Erik Guay won his first World Cup race Saturday to give Canada its first downhill victory in 13 years.
Two other Canadians finished in the top 10. Jan Hudec was fifth and Manuel Osborne-Paradis seventh.
The last Canadian man to win a downhill was Cary Mullen in Aspen in 1994.
"Hopefully, we'll get a few more soon," Guay said. "We have a healthy competition but we are still friends. Any one of us can be a winner."
Dave Irwin, Ken Read, Dave Murray and Steve Podborski came to Europe in the late 1970s and electrified the circuit with their fearless, fast racing and spectacular crashes that earned the group the nickname of "Crazy Canucks." Read was the first non-European man to win a downhill.
Guay, 25, has been steadily improving on the circuit and finished fourth in the World Championship downhill in Are, Sweden, earlier this month.
In the last race before the championship, Guay finished second in a downhill in Val d'Isere, France.
"It's been a while in the works. I came close several times this year, I came close yesterday and finally I put it altogether," Guay said. "I feel my skiing has been getting better and better all winter."
Guay finished third in another downhill here Friday.
He clocked 1 minute, 56.80 seconds Saturday on the 3,455-meter (11,335-foot) long Kandahar course to beat Friday's winner, Andrej Jerman of Slovenia, by exactly half a second.
"I am really excited. This is super stuff," Guay said. "There will be a huge party tonight."
"It's taken a while, but it's an awesome feeling. It hasn't sunk in yet."
Didier Cuche of Switzerland finished third in 1:57.33 to stretch his lead in downhill standings.
Guay had won a combined downhill in 2005 in Val d'Isere in France, but this was his first win in a proper downhill and it came on one of the most demanding courses on the circuit.
Guay topped 120 kph (75 mph) in the steeper upper part of the slope and stayed on a good line all the way.
"It played out at the bottom, I had a good line and brought a lot of speed into it," Guay said. "I took as many risks as possible."
In Friday's race, most late starters were at a disadvantage because of a rapidly deteriorating course. But the starting order did not appear to be a factor Saturday. Neither of the top three finishers had started among the first 20.
"The snow firmed up nicely," Guay said.
Jerman had another fine run a day after becoming the first Slovenian to win a downhill.
"It was important today to show that it wasn't a one-day wonder," Jerman said. "First and second, it's more than I ever expected."
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who won the world downhill title in Sweden, finished 19th on Saturday to stay in front with 807 points, while Cuche moved up to second overall at 748.
Cuche leads the downhill standings with 507 points, ahead of Marc Buechel of Liechtenstein at 379. Buechel was eighth Saturday.
"If I win the title without winning a race, I'll be happy, but it would be good to win a race," Cuche said.
Like Friday, none of the medalists from the world championship finished on the podium.
The top American was Scott Macartney who was tied on 23rd with Hans Grugger of Austria. Bode Miller of the United States did not start because of a sore neck.
Hermann Maier, the Austrian star who won his first World Cup race in Garmisch 10 years ago, completed a disastrous two days of racing in 25th place, a slight improvement over his 29th-place finish Friday.
A slalom is scheduled Sunday in this southern German resort.