Calgary, AB (January 18, 2020) - After a week of frigid temperatures, race action got underway at Nakiska Ski Area in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. The Canadian Ski Cross team turned up the heat and capitalized on home snow advantage by adding three more podium finishes to an already impressive season.
The day was highlighted by Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) who skied spotless all day, for his first World Cup victory and first-ever World Cup podium.
“This first home win feels amazing,” said an ecstatic Howden who was fastest in all of his heats today. “I tried to ski as hard as I could out of the gate on each run and ski better than the people next to me. In the finals, I just treated it like all the other heats of the day. It didn’t sink in until the last feature that I was en route to a win! This is huge.”
Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON) and Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant QC) also took home hardware with second place finishes in the men’s and women’s races.
“Feels great,” said Drury who now has eight World Cup career podiums including three wins this season. “I knew Reece had had fire starts all day. I tried a few things on the course to pass but he just shoved me down! I loved that race! It was clean, it was fun, and it was fast,” added Drury.
On the women’s side, Britt Phelan came in second place, good for her second podium of the season after a third place finish in Innichen, ITA in December. Phelan managed to achieve her 7th career Ski Cross World Cup podium and fourth, second place finish of her short Ski Cross career.
“I’m still chasing that elusive win,” said a satisfied but still hungry Phelan, “I’ve been second a few times but racing at home is just amazing. It also adds a bit of pressure because you want to do well in front of your family and friends. I’m really happy I could make it happen today,” added the 2018 PyongChang Olympic silver medalist.
Team veteran and 2014 Olympic gold medalist, Marielle Thompson (Whistler, BC), won the small final to close the day in 5th place. Abby Mcewen (Edmonton, AB) came in 9th place, followed by India Sherret (Cranbrook, BC) who came in 14th, Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, BC) - 15th, Antoinette Tansley (Calgary, AB) - 16th.
2018 Olympic gold medalist, Brady Leman (Calgary, AB), had a solid day with a 5th place finish. He was joined in the top group by Kris Mahler (Canmore, AB) who came in 14th. Chris DelBosco (Montreal, QC) finished 31st, followed by teammates Gavin Rowell (Prince George, BC) in 32nd, Carson Cook (Edmonton, AB) - 35th, Ned Ireland (Lake Country, BC) - 37th.
Kevin Drury remains the tour leader for the season ahead of teammate Kris Mahler.
The FIS Audi Ski Cross World Cupat Nakiska Ski Area is the only tour stop of the season in North American. Athletes now returns to Europe for races in Idre Fjall, Sweden for two back to back races on January 25 and 26.
For more information or media inquiries please contact:
Whitney Hunter I Manager of Communications
ABOUT ALPINE CANADA
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, Alpine Canada will celebrate 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.