Thompson and Delbosco lead Canadian charge in Montafon qualifiers
Montafon, AUT - An early morning qualification session went down on Friday ahead of the fourth competition on the Audi Ski Cross World Cup Cross Alps Tour in Montafon (AUT), with the Canadian ski cross team athletes Marielle Thompson and Chris Delbosco standing tall atop the respective ladies’ and the men’s rankings.
Thompson in particular impressed on Friday. Her top time of 55.11 seconds was nearly 7/10ths better than her teammate Georgia Simmerling, and she clocked it while skiing without one of her poles, which she dropped coming out of the start gate. With a victory in last year’s Montafon event already to her credit and her blistering time on qualifications, Thompson is well-aligned to further her lead atop the Cross Alps Tour standings.
Simmerling meanwhile appears to be rounding into form after missing all of last season to train for the Olympic Summer Games (where she won bronze in team pursuit cycling), and clocked a time of 55.79 despite some minor bobbles in her run. Third in ladies’ qualification went to Daniella Maier (GER), as the 20-year-old continues to impress in 2016/17 after taking her first career podium earlier in the season at Val Thorens (FRA).
Ladies’ Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup Cross Alps Tour leader Anna Homlund (SWE) had an uncharacteristically slow qualification, finishing the day ranked ninth and placing herself outside of the
Over on the men’s side, Delbosco did some impressing of his own, his time of 52.57 seconds besting the 52.70 laid down a few skiers before him by men’s Cross Alps Tour points leader Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA). Like his teammate Thompson, Delbosco also won in Montafon last season, and the rhythmic, sweeping course clearly seems to suit his strong-gliding style.
Behind Chapuis, Kevin Drury (CAN) capped off an exceptional qualification day for the Canadians with a third-place performance - which was, impressively, the second third-place qualification result in two races for the veteran of just 15 World Cup competitions.
With snowboard cross finals taking place on Friday afternoon in a packed Montafon weekend, ski cross finals will go down on Saturday, December 17th, beginning at 11:00CET. First up, however, is the public heat selection in Montafon, which will go down on Friday evening at 20:00CET and no doubt lead to some interesting match-ups ahead of Saturday’s race.
Qualification photos (credit FIS/Buchholz)