Chapuis aces both qualifying runs at home in Val Thorens
Val Thorens, FRA – Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA) stepped up and threw down twice in a row on Thursday in Val Thorens, France, clocking the fastest time in both runs of a double qualification day on the punishing ski cross course that bears his name in the town he calls home.
Winner of the Voss 2013 world championships, Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and the 2014/15 World Cup crystal globe, Chapuis has won nearly everything there is to win in ski cross.
One thing he hasn't won, however, is a World Cup race on his home course, though with his performance on Thursday he has done everything he can do to put himself in a position to rectify that situation.
Other notables on the men's side include last week's winner Christopher Delbosco (CAN), who continued his strong start to the season with a fourth-place finish and a second-place finish in the two qualifiers, and Chapuis' teammate Bastien Midol (FRA), who finished the first qualification run just .01 back of his teammate and ended qualification run number two in a very respectable sixth position.
On the ladies' side, the power struggle between Anna Holmlund (SWE) and Marielle Thompson (CAN) played out as predicted, with Holmlund dominating quali run one and Thompson answering back by locking down the top run in run two.
Holmlund's first run was far and away the fastest ladies lap of the day, with her time of 1:15.00 a full 0.87 faster than her teammate and runner-up Sandra Naeslund (SWE) in run one, and 0.46 seconds faster than the 1:15.46 clocked by Thompson to win run two.
Marte Hoeie Gjefsen (NOR) and Alizee Baron (FRA) were the only other two ladies to put up a time under 1:16.00, and with solid runs in both qualifiers they, along with Naeslund, would appear to be some of the best bets to challenge Holmlund and Thompson at the top.
The first round of finals for the weekend at the Audi ski cross World Cup Val Thorens gets underway on Friday at 12:30 CET with the men's round of 32 kicking things off. With sunny skies and fair temperatures expected all weekend, everything is in place for another big weekend of racing on Val Thorens' epic Jean Frederic Chapuis ski cross course.