Sunshine, blue skies, and spring-like weather welcomed the CIBC Nor Am Cup at Panorama Mountain Village, where the final two women's Super Gs are being contested.
With two World Cup spots up for grabs for the top-two finishers in the women's Nor Am Super G overall standings, 63 competitors made up the field on Sunday for the second-to-last women's speed race of the season. The winner was a Canadian racer who's better known for her prowess in the technical disciplines.
Allison Forsyth, who grew up in Nanaimo, BC, and now lives in Canmore, Alta., made good on a promise to a group of young fans by winning the Super G in a time of one minute, 2.96 seconds.
“I know, shocker, heh? I like to keep people on their toes,” joked Forsyth after the race as she treated herself to a celebratory sausage-on-a-bun and iced her hips which have been plagued by painful tendonitis all season.
Forsyth's win isn't very surprising to those who've followed her season. The 25-year-old has been on the podium in Continental Cup Super G racing both in North America and in Europe. She's said the Super G is actually less painful for her than the more turny disciplines she regularly competes in. The tendonitis caused Forsyth to put a season-long halt to slalom racing early in the new year.
Finishing just .31 seconds behind her team-mate despite a huge mistake that almost cost her her run was Kitchener's Kelly VanderBeek who won both Super G races at Big Mountain, Montana, last week. VanderBeek avoided disaster by holding on during her run after being thrown off her line and narrowly missing being thrown right off course and potentially into the nets. She finished second in 1:03.17.
“I've been having such a great time the last couple weeks,” said VanderBeek of her return to Canada to compete at the Nor Am level. “How could I not? Look at this great weather.”
American Caitlin Ciccone finished third in 1:03.38 to round out the podium.
The Canadian Alpine Ski Team's Emily Brydon of Fernie, BC, finished sixth in 1:04.11, while Calgary's Jessica Dakers was 10th in 1:04.64 to complete the Canadian presence in the top-10. Brydon, who enjoyed a little free-skiing at her hometown resort of Fernie on Saturday, stopped by Panorama to compete in the CIBC Nor Am Cup before she heads back to Europe on Tuesday to prepare for the upcoming World Cup Finals at Sestrieres, Italy.
National team rookie Anna Goodman