Canada’s Britt Janyk wins World Cup downhill |

Canada’s Britt Janyk wins World Cup downhill

Canadian ski racer Britt Janyk, center, winner of the World Cup Dowhill ski race is flanked by second place finisher Austrian Marlies Schild, left, and third place finisher Austrian Renate Goetschl, right, on the podium after the race on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007 in Aspen, Colo. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

ASPEN – All it took was a morning walk and Britt Janyk knew the day held promise. The snow was just right, and so was the result.The Canadian raced to her first World Cup victory Saturday, winning a downhill in which about half the field was unable to complete their runs on a snowy, foggy day.”I walked the course to inspect and started smiling,” Janyk said. “It was just like I was used to – West Coast snow, wet with powder mixed in. I knew I would have a good time and looked forward to pushing out of the start gate.”The winner was followed by Austrians Marlies Schild and Renate Goetschl. Lindsey Vonn of the United States was fourth.

“I’m really bummed out,” said Vonn, who had the best training times the previous two days. “I’m skiing so well and I feel really bad that I couldn’t show my stuff to a home crowd. Unfortunately, I’m not good on powder. I am from Minnesota.”Janyk, who trains in Whistler, British Columbia, finished third at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Dec. 1. She leads the downhill standings.”This certainly changes the goals I set before the season,” Janyk said. “It’s fun to win a World Cup race, but to win globe at the end of the season shows true strength and a true champion.”Janyk covered the Ruthie’s Run course in 1 minute, 14.17 seconds. Schild, the World Cup points leader, was second in 1:14.59, while Goetschl was timed in 1:14.63, and Vonn finished in 1:14.68.

“I don’t know if I had any advantage skiing first and in these conditions,” Schild said. “I didn’t have any tips from my coaches because they can’t compare the run to anything and I had to judge the course for myself.”The race was held under a light snowfall and only 30 of the 56 skiers were able to finish.”I would have done better if it hadn’t snowed,” Vonn said.Race officials called off the race before 19 skiers were able to ski the course because of fog and poor visibility. Four other skiers chose not to start.

“It was pretty soft and you couldn’t see anything,” Schild said. “If you fall, that’s really dangerous because it’s so soft and if you push too much you’re skis don’t react to you.”Austria’s Alexandra Meissnitzer and France’s Anne-Sophie Barthet took spills and did not finish. Barthet dislocated a knee cap. Meissnitzer, competing in her 300th World Cup race, sustained a bone bruise.”We have to deal with a ton of conditions,” Janyk said.American Julia Mancuso was 16th in 1:15.63, Stacey Cook finished 20th in 1:15.81, and Resi Stiegler was 24th in 1:16.35.

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