Two races into his World Cup comeback, Manuel Osborne-Paradis is encouraged with a pair of finishes in the points, but ready for a breakthrough.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club product finished 28th at Beaver Creek, Colo., in Friday’s (Nov. 30) men’s downhill, one of four Canadians to finish in the top 30. Whistler’s Conrad Pridy was 49th.
Osborne-Paradis started 43rd and finished 1.76 seconds back of Italy’s Christof Innerhofer, who held off Norwegians Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud for the win. Erik Guay and Ben Thomsen were 15th and 16th, respectively, for Canada, and Jan Hudec placed 24th.
It’s the second-straight week Osborne-Paradis has skied into the top 30 wearing a bib in the 40s, and the 28-year-old is now looking to move further up the results table.
“Coming from the back, it’s good. Coming from where I’m coming from, I’m just not skiing as (well) as I should be,” he said in a release. “I really wish I had a top 20 here. It was (tight) — I’m four-tenths away from Erik and he’s 15th.”
Osborne-Paradis was like most of the Canadians on Friday — skiing quickly over the flat, top section of the Birds of Prey course but surrendering time at the middle intervals. Head coach Pete Bosinger is still pleased with the three-time World Cup winner’s results so far.
“Keep in mind that he’s coming back from essentially two seasons out,” said Bosinger. “We were losing valuable time in one section. It’s something that we certainly need to address.”
Osborne-Paradis was again held out of the super-G that went Saturday (Dec. 1), in which Hudec and Guay finished 10th and 11th. Svindal maintained his early grip on the men’s overall points lead by finishing second to Italy’s Matteo Marsaglia. He holds a small edge over U.S. skier Ted Ligety, who won Sunday’s (Dec. 2) giant slalom.
Pridy looking for consistency
Pridy’s 49th-place finish was the second-best result of his World Cup career, his best coming last season in Germany when he was 25th at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Despite that, the 24-year-old said in an email that he was a little disappointed with where he ended up at Beaver Creek.
“I was actually skiing quite well all week and feeling really positive going into Friday’s race,” said Pridy. “I was having a good run but caught an edge … and ended up having to take a little detour to recover.”
However, Pridy said he felt less nervous than he has in the past and was encouraged by the week overall, even if he didn’t get the result he was looking for.
“I know I’m skiing well enough to be in the points, it’s just a matter of consistency,” he said.
Pridy is staying in Colorado for Nor-Am Cup speed races that got underway Wednesday (Dec. 5) at Copper Mountain after press time.
He’ll head to Italy shortly after for the next World Cup downhill at Val Gardena.
Meanwhile, Whistler’s Mike Janyk gets back to action on Saturday (Dec. 8) with the men’s slalom going at Val d’Isére, France. It’s been almost a month since the season-opener in Finland, where Janyk missed the top 30 by a few hundredths.
Val d’Isére should be a good venue for the 30-year-old to rebound, as Janyk has been fast there before — it was the site of his bronze-medal performance during the 2009 FIS World Ski Championships. In his only other World Cup slalom start at Val d’Isére two years ago, Janyk sat ninth before straddling a gate on his second run.