Duncan goes two-for-two, Mueller edges Thompson

24 December 2013 06:24
Innichen/San Candido podium celebrating
Innichen/San Candido podium celebrating -
GEPA Pictures

INNICHEN/SAN CANDIDO, ITA – The second of back-to-back races in the Italian Dolomites and the last FIS Freestyle World Cup event of the 2013 calender year closed out a massive week for the Freestyle tour.

For the second day in a row the athletes of the Audi ski cross World Cup tour stared down the challenging Innichen/San Candido course – a track that, for what it lacks in physically imposing features, makes up for in tricky technical sections and an emphasis on cagey line selection.

The biggest story on the day was the performance of Dave Duncan (CAN), a seven year tour vet who scored the first victory of his career in the weekend's first race on Saturday, and then carried that momentum right through to Sunday's qualification, heats, and finals to stage a remarkable repeat performance and win both the weekend's races.

He didn't take an easy road to do so, either, facing down his teammate Brady Leman (who finished 3rd in Saturday's race), slick Daniel Bohnacker (GER), and the resurgent Andreas Matt (AUT), who just last week scored his first victory in nearly two years in Val Thorens (FRA).

Duncan fell behind out of the gate in the final, with lanky German Bohnacker grabbing the lead. However, a slick pass on a double-up jump in the just a few turns into the race gave him a lead he would hold on to for the rest of the race.

For a while it looked like it was going to be a Canadian 1-2, as Leman got past Bohnacker just after Duncan. Just a few turns later Leman then got caught up with Andy Matt, allowing the big Austrian to pass him. On the second-to-last jump, trying to reclaim 2nd  place, Leman got off line and missed the last gate of the race. Matt held on to 2nd and Bohnacker was essentially handed 3rd.

In the ladies final it was Marielle Thompson (CAN) who seemed out for a little revenge after losing a ski and crashing in Saturday's semi-finals after looking like the favourite up until that point. She was on fire again on Sunday, this time making it through to the finals easily, and then grabbing the lead in those finals out of the start.

Stacked up against Katrin Mueller (SUI), Anna Woerner (SUI), and Heidi Zacher (GER), Thompson looked to be in control through the middle portion of the race. However, Mueller was steadily making up time behind her, biding time, before rocketing inside around Thompson on one of the race's final turns to steal the victory. Thompson held on to 2nd while Zacher was able to fend teammate Woerner for 3rd.

With their performances, Duncan and Thompson now head into the holiday break in possession of the their respective men's and ladies' red ski cross overall leader bibs.

Full men's results can be found HERE

Full ladies' results can be found HERE

Men's highlight video can be found HERE
Ladies' highlight video can be found HERE