Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 22:37 | By Agence France-Presse

Guay tops second Wengen downhill training

Canada's 2011 world champion Erik Guay topped the second training on Thursday for the men's World Cup downhill set for this weekend.


Guay tops second Wengen downhill training

Canada's Erik Guay competes during the FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Downhill second training January 16, 2014 in Wengen - by Olivier Morin

Guay timed 2min 36:14sec down the thigh-busting 4,422-metre-long course, the longest on the World Cup circuit, almost three seconds faster than Wednesday's first training, headed by Italy's Werner Heel.

Austrian Matthias Mayer finished second at 0.13sec, with Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud in third (+0.31sec).

Heel came in sixth this time around behind Austrian Hannes Reichelt and Swiss racer Patrick Kueng.

Guay, who last month won the downhill in Bormio, was left pleased with his showing in training as he aimed to build on his best performance in Wengen - a fourth place last season.

"I feel like my training runs have been very consistent since the start and now's it's all about learning how to translate those faster speeds into race day," the 32-year-old Canadian said.

"There's always a bit more pressure, but I think that if I stick to my plan then I'll be competitive."

Guay, who finished fifth in both the downhill and super-G at the 2010 Olympics, said his recovery from summer knee surgery was progressing nicely.

"My back and knee are doing well, it's always something that I have to manage and make sure that it's working well," he said.

Turning to Wengen's famed Lauberhorn piste, Guay said: "I like everything here, it's a great course, long, and it burns the thighs but I enjoyed it.

"I find that Wengen and Kitzbuehel are two courses that really suit the veterans, experienced skiers - they're often the ones who win.

"Racing the course at Wengen is never over until the final gate. You often see that you can win or lose on the final bend."

Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal finished ninth at 1.18sec and was left satisfied with his training.

"The course was a lot better today, definitely way better than yesterday," Svindal told AFP.

"When it's dark, it's very dark and it's bumpy which makes it tough. I feel okay. I'm not too worried, I just wish I was a little faster."

Svindal, who won super-G gold at the 2010 Olympics, as well as a silver (downhill) and bronze (giant slalom), and last season won the world downhill title in Schladming, vowed there would be no letting up in either Wengen or Kitzbuehel.

"They're big races and you want to be fast. There's no better preparation for the Olympics than winning World Cup races," the Norwegian said.

"I never understood why winning one week makes it impossible to win the next week.

"As a ski racer, shit happens so you better grab the opportunities you get and don't be picky about what weekend it is because there's just too much stuff that's out of your control, whatever you can get, you grab it."

The men compete in the super-combined on Friday, kicking off with the slalom followed by an afternoon downhill in expectation of more snow in the morning.

Saturday sees the downhill proper with the slalom scheduled for Sunday.

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