Whistler skier earns silver in first World Cup ski cross
Although the departure of Olympic mogul skiers Jean-Luc Brassard and Ryan Johnson was a blow for the Canadian freestyle team, the depth of the program was evident last weekend at the first World Cup mogul events at Tignes, France.
In addition to the usual strong showing in moguls, Canadians also performed well in the first ever FIS World Cup ski cross event. Whistler skier Aleisha Cline finished in second place, behind Magdalena Jonsson of Sweden. Valentine Scuotoo and Ophelie David of France were third and fourth.
Also from Canada, Anik Demers won the consolation final, edging out Nathalie Schmid, Annick Staudenmann and Corinne Bodmer of Switzerland.
In the moguls competition on the following day, Scott Bellavance of Prince George and Whistler, earned a silver medal in a close finish with winner Travis Cabral of the U.S. Cabrals final score of 27.70 was just 0.07 points ahead of Bellavance.
Janne Lahtela of Finland took the bronze.
Back on his skis after a serious neck injury last season, Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau of Drummondville, Quebec finished in fifth place. Chris Wong of Prince George, who is a member of the national development team, was the only other Canadian to qualify for the finals, finishing 12 th .
Warren Tanner of Grimsby, Ontario, narrowly missed the cut-off and ended the day in 13 th .
In the womens competition, Margarita Marbler of Austria took the gold, Shannon Bahrke of the U.S. won silver, and Michelle Roark, also of the U.S., earned the bronze.
National team rookie Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C. was the top Canadian in fifth place. Tami Bradley of Vancouver and Whistler also made the cut and finished ninth.
"This being a rebuilding year, its a better than expected start. And the rookies had great results," said Josie Daub, the high performance director for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.
The next moguls and ski cross events take place this weekend at Sauze DOulx, Italy.