KEVIN DRURY RACES ONTO WORLD CUP PODIUM IN FIRST OF BACK-TO-BACK RACES IN GERMANY
Feldberg, GER (Feb. 16, 2019) –Toronto’s Kevin Drury earned his first World Cup podium of the season – a third-place finish – under warm, sunny skies in Feldberg, Germany, on Saturday, notching Canada’s top result in a ski cross double-header that continues on Sunday.
Drury, who stepped onto the World Cup podium three times last season, is coming off a bronze-medal finish at the World Championships in Utah earlier this month. He won every heat leading into Saturday’s big final.
Following contact early on in the big final that resulted in a near-spill for Drury, a lengthy review of the run saw the jury ruling in the Canadian’s favour, bumping him up to third while Switzerland’s Alex Fiva was yellow-carded.
“A small mistake at the start put me into third, and partway down the course, there was some contact made between me and Alex (Fiva). It could have gone either way, really – (the contact) was just kind of a bummer of a situation, so mixed emotions for this podium but I’m still happy with the way today went,” said Drury following the award presentations.
While the spring-like temps contributed to the fan atmosphere, it made for constantly changing conditions on the course. The Canadians described the secret to success in Feldberg as being the need to execute on all of the little details really well.
On Saturday, strong starts were a definite advantage due to the slush spray – especially in the later heats.
Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club) felt that keenly in the big final after having raced in 1-2 positions throughout the day.
“I skied well pretty much all day, (and) in the final, I just got stuck behind and really didn’t have anywhere to go with the soft snow,” said the recently crowned World Champion. “I tried a few things (to move ahead) but it didn’t quite work out. Fourth’s okay, but I’m hoping for more tomorrow.”
While Dury and Thompson were the only Canadians to qualify for the big final, Brittany Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que./Mont-Tremblant Ski Club) raced to second in the small final, besting overall leader Fanny Smith of Switzerland, to finish sixth in ladies’ racing.
Unable to move past the quarter-finals, Brady Leman (Calgary/Calgary Alpine Racing Club) and India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C./Kimberley Alpine Team) both finished 11th, and Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C./Big White Ski Club) was 12th.
Rounding out Canada’s results were Chris Del Bosco (Montreal and Vail, Col./Ski and Snowboard Club Vail), who was edged out in the eights and finished 21st, while Zach Belczyk (Banff, Alta./Sunshine Ski Club – ABSX) didn’t crack the top-32 in qualifications and Abby McEwen (Edmonton/Sunridge Ski Club) finished just outside qualifications for the ladies' quarter-finals.
Full results can be found at FIS-SKI.com.
Day two of the ski cross World Cup double-header in Feldberg continues on Sunday at 3:45 a.m. ET.
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.
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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, Alpine Canada will celebrate 100 years of rich tradition in competitive skiing in Canada.