Hoeie Gjefsen (NOR) and Matt (AUT) best at Blue Mountain

21 January 2010 12:07

The FIS Freestyle World Cup in ski cross stopped at Blue Mountain (CAN) on Wednesday. It was second to last FIS Freestyle World Cup ski cross race before the Olympic Winter Games,

Marte Hoeie Gjefsen of Norway scored her career best results in winning the ladies' race in front of several hundred enthusiastic spectators on a sunny afternoon ahead of home crowd favorite and reigning ski cross world champion Ashleigh McIvor of Canada. For Ashleigh McIvor, a Whistler, BC native it was her 4th trip to the podium this season. Sasa Faric of Slovenia took third.

McIvor found herself in third place after she was elbowed near the start of the four-woman final. She clawed her way back to second and hung on for the 2nd. McIvor said she wasn't surprised by the intensity of the race.

"That's girls for you," McIvor said. "The guys on my team are always saying that the girls are way nastier than the men. Pulling and pushing and screaming, but that's how it goes."

In the men's final, the men's reigning world champion Andreas Matt of Austria took his first season win, whilst Lars Lewen of Sweden took 2nd and Patrick Koller of Austria finished 3rd.

Ski cross, which features a mass start and head-to-head racing on a course with turns, bumps, jumps and rolls, will make its Olympic debut next month at the Vancouver Games.

Europeans control the top of the men's World Cup standings, with Swiss Michael Schmid atop the pack, followed by France's Xavier Kuhn, Austria's Matt and Norway's Audun Groenvold.On the ladies' side, France's Ophelie David leads, with Canadians McIvor and Julia Murray in second and third, respectively.

Next and final FIS Freestyle World Cup ski cross race before the Games comes from Lake Placid, New York on January 24th, 2010