Whistler’s Conrad Pridy provided a highlight when there were few to be found for Canada in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen downhill.
Nobody from the national men’s speed team cracked the top 20 of Saturday’s (Feb. 23) World Cup stop in Germany, but Pridy collected points for the second time in his career by placing 28th.
Erik Guay was the top Canadian, placing 22nd, while Whistler Mountain Ski Club alum Manuel Osborne-Paradis finished 25th on a course that was shortened due to heavy snow earlier in the week. Morgan Pridy, younger brother of Conrad, was 45th in his first start of the World Cup season.
In an email to The Question, Conrad Pridy said he was happy with his performance, even though it wasn’t perfect.
“I skied aggressively, felt fast, and aside from one little mistake near the bottom, I was exactly where I wanted to be the whole way down,” he said. “When I crossed the line, I was relieved to be in the top 30, but also a little disappointed because I knew I could have been faster.
“Points are points, though, and I am happy with how I skied.”
It was Garmisch where Conrad Pridy hit the top 30 for the first time last season and he seemed to have the Kandahar course figured out again on Saturday.
“I think because of my recent history in Garmisch it is easier for me to stay positive and confident,” he said. “The bumpy, icy conditions don’t hurt, either.”
The elder Pridy, 24, struggled in World Cup action in the first half of the season, finishing in the top 50 just once in three races. But he came into the race on the back of a good stretch of Nor-Am Cup speed races at Apex, including a downhill victory, and put together a decent run in the 10th World Cup start of his career.
“The results in Apex gave me some good momentum after a tough January in Europe, and I definitely used those results to fuel my confidence,” he said. “Skiing fast in the Nor-Ams and regaining the feeling of belonging on the World Cup made it a lot easier to stay focused and ignore the pressure and expectation that comes with it.”
Italy’s Christof Innerhofer captured his third downhill win of the season and was flanked on the podium by Austrian skiers Georg Streitberger and Klaus Kroell.
Osborne-Paradis had a clean first half to his run, but bobbled midway through to lose some time to the field.
“We had some good training runs, but we weren’t really in the game today,” said Osborne-Paradis, who was 12th on a shortened training course the day before.
“I was having a good run and made a mistake. At least I’m showing a bit of speed, but I’m just coming back to racing and I don’t have the crispness I need to put full runs together.
“Without that mistake, I would have been top 10.”
Morgan Pridy, 22, was making his first World Cup start since debuting on the circuit last season at Kvitfjell, Norway. That’s where the men’s tour heads on Saturday and Sunday (March 2 and 3) for the last downhill and super-G before World Cup finals at Lenzerheide, Switzerland later in March.
Both of the Pridy brothers are expected to race at Kvitfjell again on Saturday.
Sitting 22nd in the downhill standings, Osborne-Paradis will look to solidify his place among the top 25 racers who will qualify to race at Lenzerheide. Canadian teammates Ben Thomsen and Jan Hudec, currently 26th and 28th, will try to make their way in after finishing outside the points at Garmisch.
In the super-G rankings, Manny is in a three-way tie for 26th place despite missing two of four races so far. He’ll need at least a top-25 finish at Kvitfjell to advance to the discipline finals.