Manuel Osborne Paradis, North Vancouver, BC
Click for larger image
Robbie Dixon - BCST 03/04
Click for larger image


After a couple days of snowy weather, racers in the first CIBC Coupe Nor-Am Cup downhill were treated to cloudless skies in spectacular Lake Louise. Taking the top spots in Sunday's races were Canadian John Kucera in the men's race and American Caitlin Ciccone in the women's.

Ciccone took the win by a slim margin of five one-hundredths of a second over the Alberta Ski Team's Shona Rubens. “Coming into today I was confident but nervous,” said Rubens. “There are a lot of good girls today. I was looking for a good result, and this is it.” Ciccone and Rubens are both Juniors, so both took to the podium twice for Gold and Silver medals.

In third was Sherry Lawrence of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. Lawrence was pleased with her podium finish: “It was a much better run, much more aggressive than I've been skiing. There were still a few mistakes, but I definitely felt a lot better today. It was a good run, so I'm happy with it.”

Taking fourth, and third Junior, was Banff's Kristen Tarchuk of the Alberta Ski Team. Tarchuk placed ninth in the Women's Super G on Wednesday. “It was awesome. The course was good, and conditions were great. It all came together, and it's a good finish.”

Lesley Firstbrook of the Ontario Ski Team took sixth, and the Canadian development team's Christina Risler took 8th. Calgary's Danielle Poleschuk, skiing for the BC Ski Team finished 8th, and the Canadian Development Team's Jessica Dakers rounded out the top 10.

TOP 15 WOMEN
1. CICCONE Caitlin, USA, 1:36.83; 2. RUBENS Shona, CAN, 1:36.88; 3. LAWRENCE Sherry, CAN, 1:37.08; 4. TARCHUK Kristen, CAN, 1:37.55; 5. FIRSTBROOK Leslie, CAN, 1:37.72; 6. LEMASURIER Lesley, 1:37.99; 7. RISLER Christina, CAN, 1:38.03; 8. MARSHALL Chelsea, USA, 1:38.12; 8. POLESCHUK Danielle, CAN, 1:38.12; 10. DAKERS Jessica, CAN, 1:38.16; 11. LITTMAN Julia, USA, 1:38.21; 12. BRAGG Kate, USA,1:38.36; 13. PERRICONE Lisa, USA, 1:38.49; 14. EMPEY Allison, CAN, 1:38.97; 15. HAMMOND Courtney, USA, 1:39.42.

Top 3 Junior: 1. CICIONE; 2. RUBENS; 3. LAWRENCE.

Other BC Women:
23 (3) MURRAY Julia [CAN] – J1 1:40.23
30 (32) GRAHAM Jenni [CAN] – J2 1:40.88
44 (49) KRAFT Lindsay [CAN] – J2 1:44.11
(26) LEIGHTON Alison [CAN] – J2 DNF

In the men's race, it was Calgary's John Kucera notching his first ever Nor Am Cup win. “It felt like I made some little mistakes, but I guess they weren't too costly,” said an ecstatic Kucera after his run. Kucera is an alumnus of the Calgary Alpine Racing Club and the Alberta Ski Team, and recently raced his first World Cup at Lake Louise.

In second place by the slimmest of margins, it was another member of the Canadian Ski Team, Manual Osborne-Paradis of Vancouver. Paradis was happy with his run, but left room for improvement: “My run was excellent. I nailed what I needed to nail, but coming into Coaches Corner I was quite low, I got sucked up on the roll before it, so tomorrow I'll have to fix that and I'll definitely be faster.”

Stepping up to the bronze medal ski team was Roger Cruickshank of the Great Britain Ski Team. The Canadian Ski Team's David Anderson placed fifth, less than a second back from the winning time. “It was okay