The World Cup season ended without Whistler skiers Mike Janyk and Manuel Osborne-Paradis getting a chance to race in this year’s finals at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Janyk’s campaign wrapped up with another top-15 slalom finish on Sunday (March 10) in Slovenia, while foggy conditions at Lenzerheide on Wednesday (March 13) forced the cancellation of the winter’s last downhill, bringing Osborne-Paradis’s season to an end as well.
Janyk’s late-season consistency continued on Sunday at Kranjska Gora when he used a strong second run to finish 15th. However, the 30-year-old needed at least a podium finish to move into the top 25 advancing to Lenzerheide.
The Whistler skier sat 23rd after the opening run, but posted the fourth-fastest time in the second session to improve by several positions.
Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic returned to the top of the podium at Kranjska Gora, flanked by Austrians Marcel Hirscher and Mario Matt.
Janyk said rainy conditions made for a difficult race Sunday in an email to The Question.
“My first run, I was lost on my skis, the snow had no response to it and I did not feel comfortable on it,” he said. “I took advantage of my second run and skied awesome.
“I was happy to finish the World Cup season with that kind of skiing and salvage a top 15.”
Janyk ended the season with a strong push, collecting top-15 results at the world championships and at his last two World Cup races of the season. But the veteran’s frustrating start to the year, which saw him miss the second run in each of the first five races, left him with too much of a deficit to climb into the top 25 in the discipline standings. He finished the year in 35th place and missed qualifying for finals for just the second time in his nine World Cup seasons.
“I’m very disappointed not to be in Lenzerheide,” said Janyk. “I didn’t reach my goals in my results this season by any means and there were a lot of challenges out there.”
However, Janyk said he was encouraged by the technical level of his skiing by the end of the season.
“I know this is the way forward to compete with Marcel (Hirscher) and Felix (Neureuther), which is really cool to feel that kind of skiing,” he said.
On Wednesday at Lenzerheide, Osborne-Paradis was due to start ninth, but fog rolled in on the lower portion of the downhill course. Officials continually postponed the start until cancelling both the men’s and women’s races altogether.
Manny ended his first full season since the Olympic year ranked 13th in the downhill standings on the strength of top-10 finishes at Val Gardena, Kitzbühel and Kvitfjell.
The cancellations had a huge impact on chases for the Crystal Globe. The injured Lindsey Vonn started the day with a one-point lead over Tina Maze in the women’s standings and the U.S. star earned her sixth-straight downhill season title when the race was called off. Aksel Lund Svindal won his first downhill crown, but the Norwegian desperately needed a chance to accumulate points as he tries to chase down Hirscher for the overall title. Races continue at Lenzerheide until Sunday (March 17).
Janyk is expected to race the Nor-Am Cup final slaloms on Saturday (March 16) and Sunday at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. The scene then shifts to Whistler for national team skiers after that, as the resort hosts the Canadian Championships March 21 to 27.
Pridy bags first super-G win
Whistler’s Morgan Pridy was poised to win the Nor-Am Cup men’s super-G title after press time Wednesday following a victory on the first day of the tour’s finals on Tuesday (March 12) at Nakiska, Alta.
It was the first win in the discipline at the Nor-Am level for the 22-year-old, who was first out of the start house and set a time that was never really challenged.
“I’m really happy about it. I had a good start and took advantage of a fresh course,” he said in a release.
Conrad Pridy finished sixth, while fellow Whistler product Ford Swette was 46th.
Morgan Pridy held a 34-point lead over U.S. skier Jared Goldberg heading into Wednesday’s last super-G of the season.
“I’ll take the same approach tomorrow,” he said. “The snow’s going to be just as good tomorrow as it was today, so I’ll try to repeat and see what I can do to improve.”