NAKISKA – Home soil advantage was virtually non-existent in the first event of a back-to-back ski cross world cup at Nakiska on Friday (Jan. 14) afternoon.
The World Cup events at Nakiska are the final races for athletes to earn vital world cup points to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, less than a month away.
Kevin Drury was the lone Canadian on the podium, finishing second in the men’s race. Sweden’s David Mobaerg cruised to the gold and the podium was rounded out by Germany’s Tobias Mueller.
Drury was the only Canadian man to reach the semi-finals. Three Candian’s Brady Leman, Chris Delbosco and last year’s crystal globe winner Reece Howden all bowed out in the quarter-finals.
Canmore’s Kris Mahler finished in 28th position, failing to make it past the 1/8 finals. However, the local skier, who is still in the hunt to qualify for the Olympics, earned vital World Cup points to move him up as the fourth-ranked Canadian on the circuit. Canada is allotted four spots in the men’s ski cross event.
In the women’s event, Hannah Schmidt was the top Canadian finishing in fifth followed by Courtney Hoffos in sixth and Brittany Phelan in seventh.
Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund cruised to victory, followed by Switzerland’s Fanny Smith and Germany’s Daniela Maier.
Racers will hit the course for the second world cup event on Saturday (Jan. 15) at Nakiska, starting at 12:15 p.m.