Calgary, AB (December 22, 2019) – It was another exciting day for the Canadian Ski Cross Team in Innichen, Italy as Marielle Thompson (Whistler, BC) raced through tough conditions to finish in 2nd spot. Adding to the teams excitiement was a strong finish by Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, BC) who tied his personal best finish, ending up in 5th spot.
With the 2nd place finish Thompson, heads home for Christmas with another podium and a 3rd overall finish on the Cross Alps Tour.
“My day was good. The conditions turned out to actually be pretty good. My first couple rounds I think I skied pretty strong and brought that into the final. I had a good start in the final but just got stuck behind but I knew that in the bottom of this course if I skied it clean I could carry some speed. I’m pretty stoked. I’m really looking forward to racing in Canada” Thompson said of her day.
Howden, who recently joined the team in Europe after a semester studying in Calgary was exciting about his result.
“I just wanted to come here and ski my best. I am just having so much fun skiing with the team after the long hours at school. I told myself ski, have a great time and leave it all on the hill. I had a great day” he said.
It was an amazing day for the team who had an incredible 13 athletes skiing in today's races. Courtney Hoffos (Windermere, BC), Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, QC) and India Sherret (Cranbrook, BC) all qualified for the small final finishing in 5th, 6th and 7th respectively. Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, BC) finished in 13th while Abby McEwen (Edmonton, AB) finished in 16th.
On the men’s side Kris Mahler (Canmore, AB) finished the tour strong with an 8th place finish. Chris Del Bosco (Montreal, QC) finished in 11th. Zach Belczyk (Banff, AB) – 14th, Brady Leman (Calgary, AB) – 18th, Kevin Drury (Toronto, ON) and Carson Cook (Edmonton, AB) – 32nd.
For Kris Mahler and Kevin Drury the Cross Alps Tour was filled with back and forth competition for the podium. Drury, the overall Cross Alps Tour winner, won three World Cups in Innichen, Arosa, and Val Thorens, while Mahler had his first World Cup podium with a win in Val Thorens and followed it up with a 2nd place finish in Montafon.
“It’s a friendly battle and fueled both of us going through the Cross Alps Tour. We started strong and finished strong” Mahler said of the compeittion between the two.
The Cross Alps Tour has been an incredible start to the World Cup season for the Canadian team. 12 podium finishes including five 1st place finishes, two first time world cup podiums for Hoffos and Mahler, personal best finishes for Zach Belczyck, Carson Cook and Zoe Chore, and 13 racers in today's races. It was a well deserved start for the team who trained hard over the summer and throughout the preseason.
“Besides the results, it has been awesome as a coach to watch the athletes develop and redefine themselves. Ski cross is dynamic, and life is challenging. The maturity and respect this team has shown over these first block of races and preseason camps has been the key to its success. A well-deserved Xmas break for everyone is next on the calendar but I can already feel the excitement that is building for the Nakiska World Cup in January” said Stanley Hayer, Canadian Ski Cross Head Coach.
The team now heads back to Canada for the next World Cup race at Nakiska on January 18.
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