Guay wins Val Gardena downhill

Erik Guay made history with a thrilling victory in Saturday’s downhill in Val-Gardena-Groeden, Italy, which saw the Canadian Cowboy tie Steve Podborski’s Canadian record of 20 World Cup podiums.

The 32-year-old from Mont-Tremblant, Que., was behind after the first split but made up time on his way down the famous Saslong track to win a compelling race and claim Canada’s second podium in Val Gardena in as many days, following Jan Hudec’s second place in Friday’s super-G.

Guay, who has already qualified for nomination to Canada’s team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, now has a world downhill championship, a Crystal Globe and the Canadian men’s record for World Cup podiums on his resumé. All that remains is an Olympic medal.

Guay was one of three Canadian Cowboys in the top 10 Saturday, with Manuel Osborne-Paradis charging into seventh and Hudec finishing ninth. Guay will take part in a conference call later today to discuss his historic victory.

Guay continued Canada’s rich tradition of success in the Dolomites with his third podium at Val Gardena since 2010 – the sixth for a Canadian man since 2008 and the 16th in total for Canadian men since Crazy Canuck Ken Read was third in the downhill in 1978. Most significant of all is that Saturday’s golden performance is Guay’s 20th World Cup podium since he got his very first in Lake Louise, Alta., in 2003.