Calgary, Alta. (December 21, 2017) – Thursday marked the second-last race of the Cross Alps Tour and Canada Ski Cross was back on the podium. On the Innichen, ITA track, Georgia Simmerling (Vancouver, B.C.) found her form and captured second-place, her first podium of the season.
Simmerling easily advanced through the quarterfinal but battled hard in the semi final, fighting off some competitor contact to advance into the big final. Simmerling was leading the big final but was passed on the bottom quarter of the track. Her technical skiing secured Simmerling her first podium of the season in a heat stacked with big-name contenders.
It was a massive day for Canadian Mathieu Leduc (Comox, B.C.). The 27-year-old had the race of his life battling heat after heat to qualify for his first-ever big final. His strong alpine background paid off for him on a track full of injected, icy and technical turns. Leduc has been battling injury for the last couple of years and today demonstrated his strength and ability to be competitive with the best.
"I'm really hungry for more," said Leduc. "I'm looking to step on the podium tomorrow!"
In the men’s quarter final, Leduc fought hard for a photo-finish second-place to advance him through to the semis. The semi final saw tons of action, passing and some competitor contact. In the big final, Leduc was up against tough competition and finished the day just off the podium in fourth-place. Leduc’s previous personal-best was a seventh-place result.
Four Canadian women qualified to race today, including Simmerling, Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.), India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C.) and Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.). Serwa led in the first heat and was leading the semi final heat until a small bobble took her out of the running for a podium, failing to recover enough time to advance to the big final. Serwa went on to handily win the small final, finishing in fifth-place. She’ll be back tomorrow, seeking redemption on the same track.
Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C.) has already secured a personal-best finish this season. She started the quarterfinal heat looking strong but a mistake cost her a qualifying run.
Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.), Ian Deans (Lake Country, B.C.), Brady Leman (Calgary, Alta.) and Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, Que.) rounded out the Canadian men to qualify for today’s heat.
Drury advanced through the 1/8 finals, winning his heat. In the quarter-finals, he battled hard, making gains all the way down the track, including a massive pass to put him in third-place. It was a tough fight but Drury was unable to sneak in a pass to qualify for the semi-final.
Everyone will have a second chance on the track with the final race of the Cross Alps Tour concluding tomorrow.
Canadian Ladies’ Results
2 - Georgia Simmerling
5 - Kelsey Serwa
13 - India Sherret
18 - Britt Phelan
Canadian Men’s Result
4 - Mathieu Leduc
9 - Kevin Drury
28 - Brady Leman
29 - Ian Deans
32 - Chris Del Bosco
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
Alpine Canada is the national governing body for alpine, para-alpine and ski cross racing in Canada. With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.