Sverige Nationalarenan, Åre – Under glorious blue skies and spring-like conditions, 103 of the best male juniors in the world took to the track in the Alpine Combined.
The up-tempo super G set by the veteran French coach Christophe Saioni tested the field in the opening leg of the race. Several of the favourites, including defending super G champion Mattieu Bailet (FRA) and silver medalist Jack Crawford (Whistler Mt.) were fast but could not hold the line in their aggressive attack.
Sam Morse (USA) broke up a Swiss party, finishing the super G in a time of 1:16.72, just ahead of a trio of Swiss skiers led by Semyel Bissig (2nd), Lars Roesti (3rd) and Loic Meillard (4th).
Canadians were led by Jeffrey Read (Banff Alpine) who finished in 8th place, Riley Seger (Whistler Mt.)in 11th , Simon Fournier – pictured to the left – (Tremblant) in 21st, Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt. Tyee) in 30th and Huston Philp (Banff Alpine) in 51st.
Suited up for the slalom, Sam Mulligan took full advantage of starting first to place 5th in the slalom and move up 21 positions to finish 9th as top Canadian. Jeffrey Read briefly hip-slid which pushed his finish back and was tied with Simon Fournier in 13th position. Riley Seger came within five gates of the finish before straddling a tricky flush. Huston Philp also went off course after a direct confrontation with a gate that broke his face guard.
Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt. Tyee)
Gold went to Loic Meillard (SUI), fresh off the World Cup Tour, who blistered the slalom with a 1.18 winning margin. River Radamus (USA) combined solid super G (9th) and slalom (6th) results to take silver. Georg Hegele (GER) used a solid slalom result(3rd) to move up from 19th after the super G to take bronze.
Action continues tomorrow with the ladies giant slalom, followed by the Nations Team Event in the evening. Canada is seeded 3rd in this event, based on the performance of the Team in Sochi.
Huston Philp (Banff Alpine Racers)