Delbosco and Luedi awarded Val Thorens wins in weather-shortened final
VAL THORENS, FRA – The first of two scheduled back-to-back Audi FIS ski cross World Cup races rescheduled to make up for cancelled events in Megeve (FRA) and Bischofswiesen (GER) was cut short due to weather complications today, though enough phases of the race were completed to count results and register points good towards qualification for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Christopher Delbosco (CAN) and Sanna Luedi (SUI) were awarded wins after the race was halted following the men's and ladies round of 32, as heavy winds and snow picked up as the day progressed.
Scoring in today's situation utilized a mixture of qualification placing and success in the round of 32. Athletes who were successful in their heats in the finals were moved up in rankings and then ordered according to their qualification results, while those athletes who did not place in the top two in their heat were ranked behind those successful 16, again by their qualification results.
Luedi, who was the fastest skier in qualification as well as the fastest in her heat, was followed up in 2nd by 17-year-old Sandra Naeslund (SWE) in the first career podium performance for one of the most promising young athletes on the World Cup tour. Behind Naeslund was Katrin Ofner (AUT) for her first podium since she recorded a 2nd place finish at Blue Mountain (CAN) almost 2 years ago.
Marielle Thompson (CAN) placed 4th, which was enough for her to maintain her hold on the red leader's bib by 28 points over Katrin Mueller (SUI).
Delbosco took the men's race by being 2nd overall in qualifying and then easily winning his first heat. Anton Grimus, the top qualifier on Wednesday, failed to make it through his heat and ended up slotted in 17th position when all was said and done.
Behind Delbosco was Daniel Bohnacker (GER), who has looked strong throughout the 2013/14 season, racking up two podiums and four top 10 finishes through eight races. After Bohnacker was perhaps the most consistent man on the Audi ski cross tour so far this season, the unflappable Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE). Norberg now has four straight top 10 finishes and two podiums, including a 2nd place finish at December's race in Val Thorens to make him 2-for-2 on the big course thus far.
In 4th was Andreas Matt (AUT), a result just strong enough to bump him above David Duncan (CAN) into first overall on the men's side.
The forecast on Friday for Val Thorens is calling for light snow and a lessoning of the alpine winds. With any luck, that forecast will hold, and the last ski cross race falling within the qualifying period for the Sochi Games will be allowed to run its full course.
Full ladies' results can be found HERE
Full men's results can be found HERE