Calgary, AB, (January 23, 2021) – It was a day of strategy in Idre Fjäll, SWE for the Canadian Ski Cross Team. After the sprint race earlier this week, the team was racing on the full-length course for today’s affair. The results remained consistent with continued Canadian success, as Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) was back on top for the second time this season, and the third time in his young career.
Biding his time, it was a different type of race for Reece, who is used to leading most of his matchups. He was in the middle of the pack for much of the big finals, but that was his plan after learning in an earlier round that drafting was key in today’s race.
“The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong. I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front,” said Reece, who is leading the season rankings. “Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn’t have gone any better.”
It wasn’t only a great day for Reece, team veteran Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, QC) had his best result since 2018 with a 7th place finish, coming third in the small finals. After rupturing his achilles this summer, Chris has put in the hard work to get back to the start gate this season, and today’s result shows that.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been back in the small finals. It felt really good to get the monkey off my back. I made a few small mistakes in that last round, but I am heading in the right direction,” he said.
On the women’s side of things, Tiana Gairns (Prince George, BC) had a career-best 5th place finish, winning the maple leaf-heavy small finals. Tiana was joined by Courtney Hoffos (Invermere, BC) who finished in 6th, and Marielle Thompson (Whistler, BC) who finished in 8th.
“Idre is interesting since it’s such a long track, with such a long straight section that you don’t want to pass at the beginning,” Tiana said.
“You almost want to just be patient and hold your composure in fourth place so you can boost ahead of everyone at the last second,” added Courtney.
Jared Schmidt (Ottawa, ON) had a career-best 29th place finish on the day.
The team will get another shot at glory tomorrow on the Swedish course beginning at 6 AM ET/4 AM MT.
Men’s Ski Cross
1st – Reece Howden
7th – Chris Del Bosco
27th – Brady Leman
29th – Jared Schmidt
32nd – Kris Mahler
48th – Carson Cook
Women’s Ski Cross
5th – Tiana Gairns
6th – Courtney Hoffos
8th – Marielle Thompson
16th – Zoe Chore
17th – Hannah Schmidt
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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 celebrates 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.