The CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup kicked off Wednesday, with the first of three men's downhill training runs. The top downhillers in the world took to the Men's Olympic Downhill course at Lake Louise Ski Resort under a cloudy sky and light snow.

Looking to repeat his Lake Louise downhill win of last season, it was Austria's Michael Walchhofer who won today's training run in a time of one minute, 44.16 seconds.

The second fastest time of the day belonged to Austria's Herman Maier who finished his run in one minute, 44.28 seconds. Rounding out the top-3 was France's Antoine Deneriaz who crossed the finish with a time of one minute, 44.65 seconds.

Erik Guay, whose goal it was to be in the top-15, finished with a time of one minute, 45.66 seconds – fast enough to secure 14th position and the top finish for the Canadian men.

“I was pleased with my time given the mistakes that I made,” said last year's CIBC Lake Louise Winterstart World Cup Downhill silver medallist of today's training run.

“I also didn't expect to be nervous, but I was at the start of the race, because of the jumps and about my knee holding up, but it was fine,” continued Guay, who suffered an knee injury shortly after his sliver medal finish last season. “Physically I was 100%, I wasn't even breathing hard at the finish.”

Canadian Development Team member John Kucera of Calgary secured the second fastest Canadian time. Wearing bib number 67, Kucrea finished 46th with a time of one minute, 47.75 seconds.

“The course was good with lots of big air and it was more exciting than last year,” said Kucera. “I'm hoping to qualify to race on the weekend. My dream would be to finish in the top-30 in my first World Cup.”

Racing action continues on Thursday with the second men's training run at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Men's Downhill Training #1 Top-15

1. WALCHHOFER Michael, AUT, 1:44.16; 2. MAIER Herman, AUT, 1:44.28; 3.
DENERIAZ Antoine, FRA, 1:44.65; 4. STROBL Josef, SLO, 1:44.72; 5. FRANZ Werner, AUT, 1:44.95; 6. STROBL Fritz, AUT, 1:45.30; 7. MILLER Bode, USA, 1:45.31; 8. BURTIN Nicolas, FRA, 1:45.44; 9. GRUBER Christoph, AUT, 1:45.50; 10. HOFFMANN Ambrosi, SUI, 1:45.52; 11. KERNEN Bruno, SUI, 1:45.62; 11. CUCHE Didier, SUI, 1:45.62; 11. KJUS Lasse, NOR, 1:45.62; 14. GUAY Erik, CAN, 1:45.66; 15. SCHEIBER Mario, AUT, 1:45.69.



CANADIAN RESULTS

46. KUCERA John, Calgary, AB, 1:47.75
51. HUDEC Jan, Calgary, AB, 1:47.88
58. LAVOIE Vincent, Longueuil, QC, 1:48.17 62. HUME Jeff, Whistler, BC, 1:48.44 63. OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel, Invermere, BC, 1:48.45 65. BOURQUE Francois, New Richmond, QC, 1:48.41

For full results please visit www.fis-ski.com

Other Canadian Quotes:

Jeff Hume
“It was rougher than I expected, I was hoping for better today. It was very foggy with flat light. I messed up a bit on Sunset Flats so that will be my focus for the next couple of days.”

John Kucera
“Time-wise it was a good run but it didn't feel very good. I went wide on Coaches Corner, but it's a great start to the downhill season and I have lots to improve on. It was flat light, especially on top.”

Vincent Lavoie
“Visibility wasn't great and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's training run.”

Francois Bourque
“I fell around the 5th gate on the flats and I lost some speed because of that. It was bumpy at the top and the visibility wasn't great but I'm looking forward tomorrow.”

Jan Hudec
“I also fell at the flats and that's why my time is so far back. My knee feels strong and I consider myself in much better shape than last year. My goal is to crack the top 30 by Friday's training run so that I'm in a good position for Saturday's race.”

Manuel Osborne-Paradis
“This is my first World Cup downhill and I plan to be ready for it! Today, I didn't attack enough but I'm planning on charging the course tomorrow!”