SPORTS

Kjetil Jansrud completes a sweep of World Cup races in Lake Louise

11/30/2014 03:13 EST | Updated 01/30/2015 05:59 EST
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - Lake Louise is becoming Kjetil Jansrud's hill, and he has two white cowboy hats to prove it.

The Norwegian completed a sweep of World Cup races at the Alberta resort with a super-G win Sunday.

The 29-year-old also won Saturday's season-opening downhill. He'd never even finished in the medals at Lake Louise prior to his pair of victories.

His Norwegian teammate Aksel Lund Svindal was a dominant skier at the hill west of Calgary with three straight super-G wins as well as a downhill gold two years ago.

But Svindal is sidelined with an Achilles' tendon injury, so it was up to Jansrud to keep the Norwegian anthem playing at Lake Louise.

In addition to prize money, vases and flowers, each medallist gets a white cowboy hat.

"Lake Louise is Aksel's hill and for sure it hasn't been mine, but I guess I'm turning it into mine which is a good thing," Jansrud said. "I never expected a double win though. That's something you rarely see in alpine skiing. Kind of surprised."

Jansrud won Olympic super-G gold and downhill bronze in Sochi, Russia, in February. His time Sunday was one minute 32.02 in clear, cold conditions.

Austria's Matthias Mayer, the reigning Olympic downhill champion, was second in 1:32.31. Dominik Paris of Italy was third in 1:32.33.

After tying for second in downhill, Manny Osborne-Paradis of North Vancouver, B.C., was the top Canadian in seventh Sunday. Calgary's Jan Hudec, the Olympic bronze medallist in super-G, was ninth.

Canada put four men in the top 20 as Dustin Cook of Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que., and Morgan Pridy of Whistler, B.C., were 13th and 17th respectively.

"Super-G is definitely not my bread and butter," Osborne-Paradis said. "Downhill is where my forte is, but I'm very happy with a top-10.

"Jansrud is skiing really well, Paris is skiing really well and there's a couple other guys. It's good to be in that group, to be fighting with the top five and not fighting with the top 20 and top 15."

The temperature was close to minus-30, so the majority of the men wore some type of facial protection in Sunday's race. The men head to Beaver Creek, Colo., for next week's downhill, super-G and giant slalom.

The women arrive in Lake Louise for downhill races Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday. U.S. ski star Lindsey Vonn is expected to be among them.

The 30-year-old hasn't raced much over the last two seasons and wasn't able to defend her Olympic downhill title because of recurring knee injuries and surgeries.

Vonn is three wins from matching the record of 62 career World Cup victories held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria. Of Vonn's 59 wins, 14 have been in Lake Louise.

The super-G race is a hybrid of downhill and giant slalom, so it combines high speeds with sections of turns.

Unlike downhill, which allows multiple training runs prior to the race, super-G is a lesson in adaptability. The racers are given only one course inspection before the race.

"You almost have the same speed as a downhill, but it's your first time down the hill at full speed," Hudec explained. "It's a huge calculated risk and that's what makes it fun. It's like going to Vegas every weekend."

The Austrians didn't have a man in the top eight in downhill, but put four in the top six in super-G.

"Yesterday, our best position was ninth and 13th and 15th and we weren't happy about that, so everybody tried to go better today," Mayer said.

"Today was better than yesterday. I found the right set up for the snow and the cold conditions. I tried to push harder and it was good."

Hudec's race Sunday was eventful as he nearly lost control in the air at one point.

"I had a few close calls," he said. "The more out of control I look, the more I'm going for it. I put everything on black and said 'let it ride.'

"I was eons better today than yesterday. A good feeling on the snow. I'm pleased."

Cook raced from a start number of 35, which means he's ranked outside the top 30, into the top 15.

"It's for sure my best World Cup result," Cook said. "It's something I've been looking to do for a long time. I train that fast or faster all the time. I've been trying to put it into race day and now I've finally done it, it's time to keep going."

Erik Guay, who is Canada's most decorated World Cup racer with 22 career medals, didn't race in Lake Louise. He's delayed the start of his racing season to recover from a pair of off-season knee surgeries.

With a prize purse of CDN$118,000 per race, Jansrud earned $70,000 in Lake Louise. He also moved into the overall lead in the World Cup points race, which combines results from downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom.

Crystal globes are also awarded to season winners in each discipline. Jansrud believes two are realistic goals for him.

"Super-G and downhill, I fancy my chances there," he said. "Now I'm leading the overall, the big overall, but that's a totally different story and that's going to be tougher.

"I don't have my eyes on that one yet. Just going to concentrate on being fast in the downhill and super-G and try to gain some momentum in giant slalom as well."

In other results, Jeffrey Frisch of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was 42nd, Ben Thomsen of Invermere, B.C., placed 47th, Calgary's Tyler Werry finished 50th and Broderick Thompson of Whistler was 54th.

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