Emily Brydon of Fernie, BC and the Fernie Snow Valley Ski Club, remained in the top-five for the third consecutive day of downhill training after crossing the finish in the final training run with the second-fastest time of the day.

Brydon and her Canadian team mates will be up against a strong World Cup field in the circuit's opening speed race of the season when the first of two scheduled CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart downhill races get underway on Friday.

“It's a whole new ballgame on race day, you never know what can happen – hopefully it happens in my favour. My job is to go out there and stand in the start gate with the same attitude I've had the last three days,” said Brydon of her expectations for the weekend. “I had a new pair of skis today, so it was a new strategy. I was able to clean up some turns, so it worked well for me today. I started 31st and there wasn't a single rut on the course – that says a lot about how much work has gone into preparing the course. The course conditions are awesome – the course crew has worked so hard, the course is in amazing shape for all the snow they've had to deal with. I am very excited for the weekend, and I'm ready to race.”

The 23-year-old racer from Fernie, BC, won the first training run on Tuesday and finished fourth on Wednesday before Thursday's second-place finish – helping sustain a growing buzz and interest in the CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart and the Canadian Alpine Ski Team that was started last weekend when Erik Guay of Mt. Tremblant, Que., captured silver and the first-ever Canadian medal at a Lake Louise World Cup.

Only six Canadians will start in Friday and Saturday's races. The decision will be made by the coaching staff on Thursday evening. The first of two World Cup downhill races for the women's portion of the CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, with the second slotted for a 12:15 p.m. start on Saturday. The world's best female speed alpine racers can also be seen in Super G action on Sunday at Lake Louise.

Top 10:
1. (18) Maria Riesch, GER, 1:34.58; 2. (31) Emily Brydon, Fernie, BC, 1:35.26; 3. (19) Catherine Borghi, SUI, 1:35.34; 4. (16) Caroline Lalive, USA, 1:35.43; 4. (13)Isabelle Huber, GER, 1:35.43; 6. (2) Nadia Styger, SUI, 1:35.49; 7. (24) Carole Montillet, FRA, 1:35.66; 8. (33) Ingrid Rumphuber, AUT, 1:5.70; 8. (20) Isolde Kostner, ITA, 1:35.70; 10. (6) Martina Schild, SUI, 1:35.71.

2. (31) Emily Brydon, Fernie, BC, 1:35.26
28. (35) Anne-Marie Lefran