David Anderson of Rossland, BC, celebrated his 24th birthday by taking top spot at the Lake Louise CIBC Nor Am Cup on Sunday, laying down the fastest time at one minute and 44 seconds even.

“My run was a little ragged, and I was surprised to see my time,” said Anderson at the finish. “After having the fastest time in training yesterday, I was hoping for a win today. Yesterday was positive, but today was better.”

Despite some doubts as to whether he'd be able to hold off the talented pack, no one was able to better Anderson's 1:44.00.

The silver medal was claimed by American Nicholas Baker who 16 one-hundredths of a second off Anderson's pace. Baker's performance also earned him a gold medal as the day's top junior. The 2003 Nor Am Downhill Champion, Winter Park, Colorado's Wade Bishop, finished third with a time of 1:44.26.

Canadians took four of the top-10 spots at the race, with Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Vancouver finishing fifth, Jeff Hume of Whistler, BC in seventh, and Canadian junior John Kucera in 10th. Osborne-Paradis and Kucera both earned some hardware as the second- and third-place juniors, behind Baker. Canadian Alpine Ski Team member Brad Spence, who was solid during training, missed a gate near the bottom of the course and did not finish.

“I wasn't attacking enough. I needed to be more aggressive,” said Hume, who hopes to head to the World Cup in Val Gardena next. “It was a good day for Dave to win on his birthday.”

Despite 10 cm of snow overnight, course workers toiled diligently to ensure the course was in good shape for the first of two CIBC Nor Am Cup downhill races at Lake Louise. Repairs were made to the course on Saturday, following deteriorating conditions that eventually caused the cancellation part-way through the final downhill training run. Alberta team athlete Gareth Sine, whose crash yesterday ended the training runs, was released from hospital in the evening, and sustained no major injuries, although he did not compete today.

CIBC Nor Am Cup racing at Lake Louise continues Monday with the men's Super G.

Top 10:
1. (10) David Anderson, Rossland, BC, 1:44.00; 2. (2) Nicholas Baker, USA, 1:44.16; 3. (8) Wade Bishop, USA, 1:44.26; 4. (4) Justin Johnson, USA, 1:44.55; 5. (5) Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver, BC, 1:44.86; 6. (6) Kevin Francis, USA, 1:44.91; 7. (21) Jeff Hume, Whistler, BC, 1:45.04; 8. (18) Steven Nyman, USA, 1:45.18; 9. (23) Adam Cole, USA, 1:45.47; 10. (16) John Kucera, Calgary, Alta., 1:45.63.
Top Juniors: 1. Nicholas Baker, USA; 2. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Vancouver, BC; 3. John Kucera, Calgary, Alta.