Bronze age is back: Phelan and Howden each claim third in exciting Italian races
Innichen, ITA (December 19, 2021) - The Canadian Ski Cross Team brought out the sharp turns and tactical prowess on a fast, demanding course this weekend to claim a pair of bronze medals in Innichen.
Britt Phelan and Reece Howden each skied strong heats with fast starts to claim their places on the podium.
“I had a slow start to the season but was able to get some really good starts at the team event in Arosa, and I’m trying to carry that confidence and momentum here. I think it worked out for me,” says Reece.
Britt, returning to the international race scene after a devastating knee injury in early 2020, has been a fixture on the podiums this season so far with a silver in Val Thorens and three other finishes in the Top 10. “It was a really good day. I’ve been super consistent all year and happy with how that’s going, coming back after two years off from injury.”
“This course is always fun; speeds are high, and the ice is hard. It’s the first course I was into the small final a few years ago,” says Reece.
Britt agrees: “I love this track and all the turns and tactical skiing that comes into play.”
The comeback crew is rounded out by Kevin Drury and Marielle Thompson each battling to fifth in their small final runs. Kevin’s smile in the finish line today spoke volumes of the work he has been doing to return strong after breaking his leg, navigating the pandemic border closures and adjusting his training.
“The more heats I do, the better I start to feel, and the more confidence I gain,” says Kevin. “Today was awesome, with some really good starts and building confidence with every run.”
Marielle’s first season back on the track has also been a success, with two bronze and a gold collected so far.
The team will complete one more race in Italy before heading home for the holiday break and preparing for the World Cup event in Nakiska, Alberta taking place January 13-15, 2022.
“I’m really excited we have two races in Nakiska, it’s one of my favourite tracks and to have friends and family there to cheer us on will be a good time,” says Britt.
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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community. In 2020/21, Alpine Canada celebrated 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.