Calgary, Alta. (March 5, 2018) – The Canada Ski Cross team picked up right where they left off at the Olympics: On the podium! Kevin Drury (Toronto, Ont.) and Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.) shined this weekend in Sunny Valley, RUS, both claiming back-to-back podium finishes, including a win for Drury. The team raced Saturday and Sunday in their final World Cup races before World Cup Finals on March 17, 2018.
Before this weekend, 29-year-old Drury, had a series of fourth-places finishes on the World Cup circuit and one podium won through qualifications but this weekend, Drury had a breakthrough finishing in second-place on Saturday and claiming the top spot on Sunday.
In Saturday’s big final, Drury jumped out to an initial lead that he would hold through the top half of the course, before one small mistake would send the Canadian wide, opening the door for a pass. Drury found redemption on Sunday, putting down phenomenal skiing in all his heats, to come away with his first World Cup victory.
“When I crossed the line in first I just thought ‘Oh my god.’ I had a long streak of making the big finals and coming in fourth, but yesterday I finally made the podium in second and today first…I couldn’t ask for anything more,” a beaming Drury said following the big final, “I kinda ran the same race as yesterday, but the heats were a lot tighter today. The guys were skiing a lot more aggressively. When I got ahead of Jonas (Lenherr) on the first step down I knew I was in a good place, because he’s been killing everyone out of the start. When I took the lead there I knew I just had to ski a clean line, block the inside line, and hope for the best.”
2018 Olympic champion, Brady Leman (Calgary, Alta.), had some tough luck this weekend, missing the finals on Saturday and finishing in seventh-place on Sunday. Coming off a massive performance at the Games, Leman heads into the World Cup Finals ranked 11th overall.
Both Kris Mahler (Markham, Ont.) and Mathieu Leduc (Comox, B.C.) also raced this weekend. Mahler placed 35th on Saturday and 28th on Sunday. Leduc finished in 29th on Saturday and 32nd on Sunday.
2018 Olympic ski cross silver medallist, Phelan, achieved her first podium at the Games (outside a qualification podium) and continued to show she’s hit her stride capturing back-to-back silver medals this weekend.
“Third podium in three races and second again today, which puts me in third on the World Cup overall for the year,” said Phelan. “This has all been so amazing and crazy, a whirlwind since the Olympics. I’m looking forward to a much-needed break before the last World Cup of the season in France in two weeks! Thank you for all the support, I’m so thankful for all of it and wouldn’t be here without it.”
Tiana Gairns (Prince George, B.C.) had her World Cup debut at Nakiska, Alta., in January and had a phenomenal performance achieving a sixth-place finish. She continued to show great promise for the next generation of ski cross athletes, finishing 12th and eighth this weekend.
Kelsey Serwa, the 2018 Olympic ski cross champion, took a spill in training before the races this weekend and was forced to sit out of racing due to a minor concussion.
The team will race again on March 17, 2018 in Megeve, FRA for the World Cup Finals.
Saturday Canadian Ladies' Results
2 - Britt Phelan
12 – Tiana Gairns
Sunday Canadian Ladies' Results
2 – Britt Phelan
8 – Tiana Gairns
Saturday Canadian Men’s Results
2 – Kevin Drury
17 – Brady Leman
29 – Mathieu Leduc
35 – Kris Mahler
Sunday Canadian Men’s Results
1 – Kevin Drury
7 – Brady Leman
28 – Kris Mahler
32 – Mathieu Leduc
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