Manuel Osborne-Paradis finished off 2012 with another top-20 finish, but the Whistler product was hoping for a little more at the World Cup downhill in Bormio, Italy.
Osborne-Paradis extended his streak of finishes in the points since returning from injury by placing 18th in Saturday’s (Dec. 29) race. All four Canadians in the race finished among the top 25, led by Ben Thomsen’s 15th-place showing.
Manny, who wore bib No. 5 and made his first start in the top 30 this season, clocked in 1.51 seconds back of co-winners Hannes Reichelt and Dominik Paris at Bormio and had an indifferent reaction to his result.
“It was OK, it wasn’t super clean,” said Osborne-Paradis, whose best career finish in the classic Italian downhill came during the 2010 Olympic year when he was 10th.
“In my training runs, I was having a tough go. This is kind of like my first big challenge on a tough course (since my injury).
“It’s not a terrible result. It’s risk-reward out there. One day, I will put this whole course together.”
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal was one-hundredth behind Reichelt and Paris to take third. With six podium finishes already this season, Svindal continues to lead the men’s overall points race, as well as the downhill and super-G standings.
Invermere’s Thomsen notched his best finish of the season, while Jan Hudec gave the Canadians another top-20 result by placing 17th. Erik Guay, who was battling illness through the week, finished 24th.
Osborne-Paradis, 28, has been the team’s most consistent racer in speed events after Guay this season, as he sits 19th in the downhill rankings in his comeback from a season missed to injury.
“Manny has had some great races this year when you consider where he’s coming from,” said Canadian head coach Pete Bosinger.
The next men’s downhill is scheduled for Jan. 19 at Wengen, Switzerland. Whistler’s Conrad Pridy is expected to re-join the Canadian team there.
Pridy spent the holiday period at home in the resort, saying in an email that doing so was “kind of a strategic decision to ensure all of January in Europe won’t be too much.”
The 24-year-old’s best World Cup result this season came at Beaver Creek, Colo., in November when he was 49th. Pridy said he’ll be racing the Europa Cup downhill at Wengen before the World Cup event, then decide what circuit will be best for him to focus on.
“My goal is obviously to be racing as many World Cups as I can, especially the ones I gained experience on last year, but if I am not going fast enough, it would be more beneficial to race more Europa Cups to gain confidence and improve my points profile,” he said. “I really do want another shot at Kitzbühel, though, so I will definitely be pushing hard to get there.”
Janyk racing in Croatia
Whistler’s Mike Janyk will look to put a frustrating start to the season behind him when the men’s slalom schedule resumes on Sunday (Jan. 6) at Zagreb, Croatia.
Janyk also spent the holidays in Whistler, but has now returned to Europe. He’s been unable to reach the second run of a World Cup race this season, but is heading to a hill where he’s had success in the past.
In five career starts at Zagreb, Janyk has two top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place showing in 2010. The 30-year-old finished 14th in the Croatian race last season.