Canada’s Erik Guay posted the second-fastest World Cup downhill training run at Lake Louise on Friday, and he was fifth in training the day before, but he warned alpine fans not to read too much into it.
“It’s almost a little bit of bad luck to have two runs like this,” said Guay, who was just 0.07 seconds off the lead on Friday, “People that really know the sport know that the training runs, there’s a lot going on.”
Days of relentless snow in the Rockies created a soft, slow, bumpy course and conditions for the final training run before Saturday’s downhill featured strong winds and ever-changing visibility. Some of the sport’s top performers were well back in the pack.
“Until there’s a good result on race day, I’m not setting my sights too high,” Guay added.
France’s Adrien Théaux, who posted the quickest training time Friday at 1 minute 50.25 seconds, which built on his second-place finish in training the previous day, agreed.
“It’s not the same in training. It’s not the race,” he said.
Canada’s John Kucera, who has twice been on the podium in Lake Louise, but hasn’t raced since he fractured his leg here in 2009, said training was comfortable, but his times were painfully slow. After consulting with coaches and anaylzing his runs, he decided Friday evening to skip Saturday's downhill. He’ll take more time training before jumping back onto the circuit.
“I can easily get down this track and finish 40th or 50th or whatever, but that’s not the point here,” Kucera said, “I’m not here to finish there, just to ski for a home crowd. My goal is to when I come back, to get into the points.”