The first races of the season are normally a joyous occasion, something universally looked forward to by fans and anxious racers alike. This year, however, was a different affair for the men’s World Cup speed tour.

The tragic passing of Frenchman David Poisson on Nov. 13 during preparations for this weekend’s races cast a shadow over the opening men’s downhill and super-G races of the season in Lake Louise, Canada. The 35-year-old’s death was a shock to the tight-knit world of ski racing with racers and community members young and old taking to social media to express their condolences and deep sadness for Poisson’s death.

The men’s tour, in particular, is known for bitter on-hill rivals not afraid to joke around during inspection or share a drink or two once the race is over. To be a speed skier on the World Cup is to join a brotherhood, a brotherhood that was rocked to its core by the loss of one of its own.

Unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year in Alberta forced the cancellation of the first two downhill training runs, but the weather improved enough for a training run on Friday. By the time race day rolled around, World Cup speed skiing was finally underway.

Some racers donned black armbands on Saturday in remembrance of Poisson while the French men’s bibs simply read “David” underneath their start numbers. Other racers wore a small, heart-shaped sticker with Poisson’s initials on their helmet to pay homage to the life of their fallen brother.

DP forever remembered #davidpoisson

A post shared by ⓦⓔⓡⓝⓔⓡ ⓗⓔⓔⓛ ⛷ Italy – Atleta (@heelwerner) on

The brainchild of Italian skiers Werner Heel and Matteo Marsaglia, the two wanted a more permanent way to remember the life of Poisson than a pre-race tribute or moment of silence.

“Matteo Marsaglia and I wondered what we could do to remember David,” Heel told France’s SkiChrono. “And not only on a day or a week. … So we created this sticker and I called a friend at home to ask him to bring them here to Lake Louise. Now we have a memory for the whole season, for all the time.”

Heel was particularly close to Poisson as the two are the same age and came on to the World Cup at the same time.

“He is a great friend,” Heel continued. “I was on the chairlift when the accident happened and I knew that a guy was off the track. I was really shocked. Now, with this little heart, we have a memory. This is the minimum we could do for his family and the entire team of France.”

Saturday’s downhill saw Switzerland’s reigning downhill World Champion Beat Feuz take his first win of the season after a blistering middle section helped him clock in a time of 1:43.76 seconds – 0.09 seconds ahead of second-place finisher and reigning Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer of Austria. Norwegian superstar Aksel Lund Svindal made his return to the World Cup after nearly a year’s absence due to injury to take third, 0.32 seconds off of Feuz’s pace.

Besides a second-place finish in 2011, Feuz has traditionally struggled at the Canadian venue due to a string of early season injuries hampering his ability to be in top form this early in the year. Injury free this year, Feuz took advantage of the situation and powered his way to his eighth World Cup victory.

“A win at the season opener is something incredible, and I’ve never been able to do that,” said Feuz after the race. “It shows what is possible when there are no problems.”

Svindal, who has had to come back from injury two seasons in a row now, admitted that he was in a bit of a different position than in years past having to battle back and really earn his podium.

“I had to fight for this one more, I felt,” Svindal said. “I usually come in here and have been good in trainings and everything has been running fine but this year the weather wasn’t great, the course conditions wasn’t great, and I didn’t ski very good in the one training but luckily I was able to get it together for a better run today.”

The American Downhillers also debuted their new Marvel branded race suits, with each racer donning the colors of a superhero from the Marvel universe. The American Downhillers couldn’t quite find their superhero mojo, however, with Steven Nyman opting not to race as he is still returning from injury and the American contingent being led by Bryce Bennett in 21st, followed by Jared Goldberg in 24th, Wiley Maple in 39th, Travis Ganong in 48th, Andrew Weibrecht in 51st, and Thomas Biesemeyer in 62nd.

In Sunday’s super-G, Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud gave the Attacking Viking’s their sixth consecutive super-G win in Lake Louise. Jansrud was dominant from top to bottom, clocking in a time of 1:30.76 seconds to take the win ahead of the Austrian duo of Max Franz and Hannes Reichelt who finished 0.28 and 0.32 seconds back in second and third, respectively.

“This is my third victory (in Lake Louise) and second in super-G. It was a good Norwegian day,” Jansrud said in the finish. “We had three guys in the top five as well so the Norwegian train keeps on rolling in super-G, and I’m very happy for that. It means we’ve done a good job in the summer and the fall and are looking forward to everything that is to come.”

The Americans were led by Californian Travis Ganong, who was able to bounce back from a disappointing downhill performance to secure a respectable 16th-place finish and was followed by Thomas Biesemeyer in 20th, Andrew Weibrecht in 21st, Ryan Cochran-Siegle in 39th, with Jared Goldberg, Ted Ligety, Wiley Maple, and Bryce Bennett unable to find the finish line.

Also of note was the absence of Canada’s reigning super-G World Champion Erik Guay, who tweaked his back in Friday’s downhill training run and sat out both Saturday and Sunday’s races.

The men’s tour now heads to Beaver Creek, Colo., for the Birds of Prey downhill, super-G, and giant slalom races Dec. 1-3.


Downhill Top 10

  1. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
  2. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  3. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  5. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  6. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  7. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  8. Mauro Caviezel (SUI) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  10. Rommed Baumann (AUT) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

Downhill Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  7  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:43.76  0.00  100.00
 2  15  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:43.85  +0.09  1.08  80.00
 3  13  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:44.08  +0.32  3.86  60.00
 4  3  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:44.28  +0.52  6.26  50.00
 5  5  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:44.39  +0.63  7.59  45.00
 6  4  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:44.58  +0.82  9.88  40.00
 7  19  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:44.61  +0.85  10.24  36.00
 8  27  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:44.93  +1.17  14.10  32.00
 9  8  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:44.99  +1.23  14.82  29.00
 10  20  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:45.00  +1.24  14.94  26.00
 11  10  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:45.05  +1.29  15.54  24.00
 12  31  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:45.08  +1.32  15.90  22.00
 13  16  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:45.13  +1.37  16.50  20.00
 14  23  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:45.29  +1.53  18.43  18.00
 15  6  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:45.31  +1.55  18.67  16.00
 16  9  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:45.32  +1.56  18.79  15.00
 17  14  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:45.33  +1.57  18.91  14.00
 18  33  53981 KROELL Johannes 1991 AUT  1:45.41  +1.65  19.88  13.00
 19  17  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:45.46  +1.70  20.48  12.00
 20  2  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:45.56  +1.80  21.68  11.00
 21  29  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:45.71  +1.95  23.49  10.00
 22  56  6190176 BAILET Matthieu 1996 FRA  1:45.74  +1.98  23.85  9.00
 23  38  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN  1:45.80  +2.04  24.58  8.00
 24  26  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:45.81  +2.05  24.70  7.00
 25  32  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:45.83  +2.07  24.94  6.00
 25  1  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:45.83  +2.07  24.94  6.00
 27  21  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  1:45.87  +2.11  25.42  4.00
 28  18  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:45.90  +2.14  25.78  3.00
 29  22  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:45.92  +2.16  26.02  2.00
 30  48  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:45.97  +2.21  26.62  1.00
 31  66  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  1:46.02  +2.26  27.23
 31  28  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:46.02  +2.26  27.23
 33  45  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI  1:46.05  +2.29  27.59
 33  30  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:46.05  +2.29  27.59
 35  72  194858 ALLEGRE Nils 1994 FRA  1:46.11  +2.35  28.31
 36  42  103762 WERRY Tyler 1991 CAN  1:46.16  +2.40  28.91
 37  35  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB  1:46.17  +2.41  29.03
 38  36  422310 SEJERSTED Adrian Smiseth 1994 NOR  1:46.26  +2.50  30.12
 39  49  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA  1:46.27  +2.51  30.24
 40  24  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:46.28  +2.52  30.36
 41  52  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  1:46.29  +2.53  30.48
 42  40  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:46.35  +2.59  31.20
 43  58  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:46.43  +2.67  32.17
 43  50  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER  1:46.43  +2.67  32.17
 45  34  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:46.48  +2.72  32.77
 46  47  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:46.62  +2.86  34.45
 47  65  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:46.67  +2.91  35.06
 48  12  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:46.70  +2.94  35.42
 49  41  194368 RAFFORT Nicolas 1991 FRA  1:46.72  +2.96  35.66
 50  51  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:46.73  +2.97  35.78
 51  62  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:46.85  +3.09  37.23
 51  37  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT  1:46.85  +3.09  37.23
 53  44  422120 SAUGESTAD Stian 1992 NOR  1:46.88  +3.12  37.59
 54  39  54157 DANKLMAIER Daniel 1993 AUT  1:46.89  +3.13  37.71
 55  70  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:46.91  +3.15  37.95
 56  25  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:46.92  +3.16  38.07
 57  46  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:46.95  +3.19  38.43
 58  57  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE  1:46.99  +3.23  38.91
 59  43  512038 ROGENTIN Stefan 1994 SUI  1:47.06  +3.30  39.76
 60  63  561310 HROBAT Miha 1995 SLO  1:47.13  +3.37  40.60
 61  54  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:47.14  +3.38  40.72
 62  59  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:47.25  +3.49  42.04
 63  69  104531 CRAWFORD James 1997 CAN  1:47.56  +3.80  45.78
 64  55  6290845 BOSCA Guglielmo 1993 ITA  1:47.60  +3.84  46.26
 65  73  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO  1:47.95  +4.19  50.48
 66  60  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  1:47.98  +4.22  50.84
 67  68  221117 GOWER Jack 1994 GBR  1:48.57  +4.81  57.95
 68  53  481514 BORODAYKIN Artem 1994 RUS  1:48.64  +4.88  58.79
 69  67  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL  1:48.71  +4.95  59.63
 70  64  6292181 PRAST Alexander 1996 ITA  1:48.85  +5.09  61.32
 71  74  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  1:48.98  +5.22  62.89
 72  71  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CZE  1:49.00  +5.24  63.13
 73  75  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU  1:50.12  +6.36  76.62
 74  61  700878 BENDIK Martin 1993 SVK  1:50.18  +6.42  77.34
Did not start 1st run
 11  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN

 


Super-G Top 10

  1. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  2. Max Franz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  4. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  5. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  6. Christof Innerhofer (ITA) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  7. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  8. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  10. Josef Ferstl (GER) – Head/Head/Head

Super-G Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff.
 1  7  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:30.76
 2  17  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:31.04  +0.28
 3  5  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:31.08  +0.32
 4  9  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:31.17  +0.41
 5  15  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:31.28  +0.52
 6  2  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:31.81  +1.05
 7  3  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:31.86  +1.10
 8  13  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:31.91  +1.15
 9  14  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:31.92  +1.16
 10  16  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:31.93  +1.17
 11  8  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN  1:32.00  +1.24
 12  19  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:32.11  +1.35
 13  23  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:32.12  +1.36
 14  26  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:32.14  +1.38
 15  20  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:32.16  +1.40
 16  12  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:32.21  +1.45
 17  30  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  1:32.26  +1.50
 18  43  422120 SAUGESTAD Stian 1992 NOR  1:32.28  +1.52
 19  6  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:32.51  +1.75
 20  21  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:32.76  +2.00
 21  24  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:32.79  +2.03
 22  49  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI  1:32.83  +2.07
 23  22  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:32.87  +2.11
 24  10  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:32.90  +2.14
 25  32  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:32.91  +2.15
 26  28  422310 SEJERSTED Adrian Smiseth 1994 NOR  1:32.93  +2.17
 27  35  54209 KRENN Christoph 1994 AUT  1:33.01  +2.25
 28  4  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:33.03  +2.27
 29  27  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:33.06  +2.30
 30  36  194858 ALLEGRE Nils 1994 FRA  1:33.27  +2.51
 31  29  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:33.41  +2.65
 32  69  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:33.47  +2.71
 33  31  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:33.48  +2.72
 34  41  512031 BARANDUN Gian Luca 1994 SUI  1:33.58  +2.82
 35  59  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:33.60  +2.84
 35  25  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT  1:33.60  +2.84
 37  50  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:33.66  +2.90
 38  33  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:33.72  +2.96
 39  45  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  1:33.76  +3.00
 40  38  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR  1:33.79  +3.03
 41  51  512038 ROGENTIN Stefan 1994 SUI  1:33.91  +3.15
 42  62  104531 CRAWFORD James 1997 CAN  1:34.21  +3.45
 42  53  6190176 BAILET Matthieu 1996 FRA  1:34.21  +3.45
 44  47  6290845 BOSCA Guglielmo 1993 ITA  1:34.26  +3.50
 45  54  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE  1:34.28  +3.52
 46  56  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO  1:34.31  +3.55
 46  52  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:34.31  +3.55
 48  18  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:34.34  +3.58
 49  67  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  1:34.45  +3.69
 50  42  54080 NEUMAYER Christopher 1992 AUT  1:34.66  +3.90
 51  65  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER  1:34.85  +4.09
 52  57  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:35.02  +4.26
 53  44  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:35.03  +4.27
 54  61  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB  1:35.27  +4.51
 55  64  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  1:35.45  +4.69
 56  55  104272 SEGER Brodie 1995 CAN  1:35.59  +4.83
 57  68  481730 KUZNETSOV Ivan 1996 RUS  1:37.08  +6.32
 58  77  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU  1:38.34  +7.58
Did not finish 1st run
 76  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA
 75  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA
 74  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CZE
 73  700878 BENDIK Martin 1993 SVK
 72  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL
 71  6292181 PRAST Alexander 1996 ITA
 70  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA
 66  194368 RAFFORT Nicolas 1991 FRA
 63  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN
 60  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI
 58  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI
 46  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI
 40  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA
 39  221117 GOWER Jack 1994 GBR
 37  54076 KOECK Niklas 1992 AUT
 34  534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA
 1  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT
Did not start 1st run
 48  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN
 11  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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