Phelan, Serwa, McEwen finish 3-4-7 under blue-bird skies in Feldberg
Feldberg, GER (Feb. 17, 2019) – Under another blue-bird sky, Canada’s Brittany Phelan put the nation on the podium for the second time in as many days in World Cup ski cross action in Feldberg, Germany.
Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que./Mont-Tremblant Ski Club), who was sixth in Saturday’s race on the same course, was able to pass teammate Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C./Big White Ski Club) in the bottom section of the course to finish third.
“It’s my first third-place (result this season), so that’s cool, just missing first,” said Phelan, who earned a silver medal in Idre Fjall, Sweden, on Jan. 20th. “It was a battle all day; I had really tough heats, right from the start. I had to make a lot of passes all day, which I kind of prefer – it’s way more fun to ski that way, but a little stressful at the same time. But I’m really happy with my approach and how aggressive I was with my skiing.”
Racing in her career-second small final, Abby McEwen (Edmonton/Sunridge Ski Club) – who fell just shy of qualifying among the top-16 for Saturday’s race, improving to 13th in the qualification for Sunday’s event – finished Sunday’s race in seventh for her second World Cup top-10 result this season.
Prior to every race, qualification runs are held, with the top 32 men and 16 women starting on race day.
“It was a really fun day. There really is nothing better than a full day of racing,” said McEwen. “I usually get (to race in) one heat, maybe, but this was three heats and I’m very excited. It just feels good to go fast, and make moves and passes. And to just get better.”
Saturday’s warm, spring-like temperatures and changing snow conditions featuring more soft, slushy snow as the heats progressed all continued into Sunday’s racing. However, an increased wind allowed for more drafting – and passing – opportunities than on Saturday. Combined with the number of runs on the course in this back-to-back race format, athletes were able to learn from each run and apply it to the next heat.
In same cases, that worked to Canada’s advantage – as in Phelan, Serwa, and McEwen’s results; and in some instances, it worked in the competition’s favour.
Both Kevin Drury of Toronto, who was Saturday’s bronze-medallist, and Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club), who was fourth in women’s racing Saturday, saw their Sunday racing end in the quarter-finals, as was the case for India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C./Kimberley Alpine Team). Drury finished 13th, while Thompson and Sherret placed 13th and 15th respectively.
Rounding out Canada’s results were Brady Leman (Calgary/Calgary Alpine Racing Club) and Chris Del Bosco (Montreal and Vail, Col./Ski and Snowboard Club Vail), who were edged out in the eights and finished 19th and 26th respectively, while Zach Belczyk (Banff, Alta./Sunshine Ski Club – ABSX) didn’t crack the top-32 in qualifications.
Full results can be found at FIS-SKI.com.
Celebrate today’s podium result by joining the Medallists’ Circle
For the 2018-19 ski racing season, Alpine Canada is inviting ski fans to join the Medallists’ Circle. Donors are invited to commit a pledge for each podium performance by an Alpine Canada athlete this season at World Cup and World Championship events. All funds raised through the Medallists’ Circle will provide Canada’s alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross athletes with the resources needed to reach for the podium. For further information, please visit AlpineCanada.org.