Canada’s Jean-Philippe Roy continued his stellar start to the 2011-12 World Cup season by jumping up the leaderboard Tuesday and recording a 13th-place finish in the men’s giant slalom in Beaver Creek, USA.
Roy, of Ste-Flavie, Que., has started outside the top-30 in three consecutive World Cup giant slalom races but found a way to climb into the points on each occasion. On Tuesday he started 46th, but good conditions and consistent skiing helped propel the 32-year-old to his best result of the season.
“It’s been a great start,” said Roy, who struggled with a knee injury last season. “I was lucky with the conditions today but I still had to ski pretty good. Everything turned out perfectly for me – I’m very happy.”
Roy clocked a time of one minute, 21.69 seconds in the first run, 23rd fastest on the day. Dustin Cook, of Lac-Sainte-Marie, Que., and Robbie Dixon, of Whistler, B.C., did not qualify for the second run after finishing 42nd and 46th, respectively.
Roy charged hard on the second run to finish 13th overall with a two-run combined time of 2:42.35. The USA’s Ted Ligety won in 2:40.01, followed by Austria’s Marcel Hirscher (2:40.70) and Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud (2:40.79).
“On my second run last time out I was a little slow on the top, so I wanted to make sure I was more dynamic this time,” said Roy. “I lost a little bit of time at the bottom but I think I did a really good job.”
Roy, who is currently ranked 17th in the world in giant slalom after finishing 22nd, 21st and now 13th in the first three World Cup races of the season, feels like things are finally starting to click into place after a tough 2010-11 season.
“In the year before I was injured I was starting to ski more consistently,” said Roy, who has six top-10 World Cup results to his name. “Last year I had trouble with my knee and mentally, it was tough.
“I think my 12 years of experience is helping. I’m going more on instinct – especially when it comes to knowing when I need to train and when I need to rest.”
Paul Kristofic, head coach of Canada’s men’s team, is delighted to see Roy skiing so consistently.
“He’s getting better and better,” said Kristofic. “He’s finally ranked in the top 30, which is a huge bonus. He skied great today – he had an awesome second run.”
Roy spent the summer training with a group of Canadian Alpine Ski Team rookies, which enabled him to spend more time focusing on giant slalom. He believes their energy and enthusiasm has rubbed off on him.
“It was very good for me to train with the young guys,” said Roy. “It motivated me to find ways to help them and it’s turned out great for me. They’ve given me a (boost).”