Canadian athletes ready to start World Cup season in Soelden

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 22, 2009 11:50 am

Four Canadians with Olympic experience are scheduled to participate as the FIS World Cup alpine ski racing season kicks off this weekend with giant slalom races in Soelden, Alpine Canada Alpin has announced.

John Kucera (Calgary, AB), the reigning world champion in downhill, is joined in the talented and experienced group of skiers by Jean-Philippe Roy (Ste-Flavie/Gatineau, QC), Canada’s top men’s GS skier from a season ago finishing 24th overall in the discipline. The Canadian team is also scheduled to start this Olympic season with Francois Bourque (New Richmond, QC) making his World Cup return after successfully rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee through much of last season.

Last season’s top two men’s Nor-Am GS skiers, Brad Spence (Calgary, AB) and Jeffrey Frisch (Mont-Tremblant, QC), are also racing along with Robbie Dixon (Whistler, BC), set to make the 40th World Cup start of his career.

Last season’s ladies Nor-Am Cup GS champion Marie-Michèle Gagnon (Lac-Etchemin, QC) will be joined by four-time national giant slalom champ Britt Janyk (Whistler, BC) along with 2006 Olympian Shona Rubens and Marie-Pierre Préfontaine (Saint-Sauveur, QC).

“We are coming off an excellent series of training camps in New Zealand and Chile and are very happy to enter the season with a healthy group of racers. The team is looking forward to the the Olympic season and to start executing an athletic plan that is focused on peaking in February,” said the Canadian Alpine Ski Team’s Max Gartner. “Kicking off the World Cup this weekend we are not about to set any expectations or limitations on ourselves for Soelden but we’re looking forward to seeing how our athletes stack up against the best ski racers in the world,” Gartner added.