The largest contingent of Canadian women technical racers in almost three decades has qualified for the World Cup opening giant slalom race this Saturday in Soelden, Austria, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team announced Wednesday.

And the men's technical team is looking stronger than it has in years, with two top-seeded racers ready for the men's giant slalom on the same Austrian glacier on Sunday. Thomas Grandi, of Canmore, Alta., and three-time Canadian GS champion Jean-Philippe Roy of Ste-Flavie, Que., will be joined by teammate Julien Cousineau, of Lachute, Que., who is skiing his first World Cup.

Led by world No. 5 Allison Forsyth, the depth on the Canadian Women's Technical Team is showing up early this season with six racers in the start hut. Last year four women entered at Soelden and only Forsyth qualified in the top-30 to ski the final run. The Mount Washington Ski Club racer ended up just off the podium in fourth place.

Not since the 1970s when Canada's national ski team boasted Betsy and Susan Clifford, Kathy and Laurie Kriener, Judy Crawford and Vanita Haning, has there been this much depth on the roster for racers who like to ski gates, said Women's Technical Team head coach Mark Sharp. Lining up with Forsyth to unveil Team Canada's new Spyder speedsuits will be World Cup rookie of the year Genevi