Del Bosco takes second in Alpe d’Huez
ALPE D’HUEZ, France – Reigning ski cross world champion Chris Del Bosco secured his first podium of the 2011-12 World Cup season Wednesday and teammate Marielle Thompson continued her fine start to the year as each claimed silver medals in Alpe d’Huez, France.
Del Bosco, a dual citizen who now lives in Montreal, but was born and raised in Eagle-Vail, made a slick passing move at the end of a tight men’s final to move up to second, while his teammate Dave Duncan, of London, Ontario, was fourth.
“It’s nice to get that first (podium) out of the way. I’m happy. It’s awesome,” said Del Bosco, who has been skiing well this season but didn’t have a lot of luck in the first three races of the year, finishing ninth, 26th and seventh. “In the final, I was waiting for an opportunity and I managed to get by near the end. I set it up leading into the final jump.”-
Canada had eight men in Wednesday’s round of 32. Young guns Tristan Tafel and Stan Rey were eliminated in the first round as was veteran Brian Bennett, who was 25th. Brady Lema, wearing the red bib as the overall ski cross World Cup leader, was eliminated in his quarterfinal when he got off to a bad start and ended up third behind Swiss ace Conradign Netzer and Del Bosco to finish ninth overall. Whistler’s Davey Barr was also eliminated in the quarterfinals and placed 16th.
That left Duncan and Del Bosco paired up in one semifinal with Nik Zoricic, of Toronto, in the other.
“In the semifinal, we were pretty even out of the gate, but it worked itself out,” said Del Bosco, who won his semifinal, with Duncan finishing right behind him in second. Zoricic was eliminated in his semifinal and finished seventh.
Duncan, who was hoping to claim his second podium of the season, got squeezed out in traffic in the final and ended up at the back of the pack.
“The final was just tight,” Del Bosco said. “I made a move almost into second and Dunc got pinched out through the panels. That was kind of a bummer.
“I’m feeling really good. I’ve been skiing well but right about this time in the season – this is when it starts coming together. These kinds of tracks are good for me. More jumps and features. There were a lot of places where you could make something happen.”
Filip Flisar, of Slovenia, took the win in the men’s final, with Sweden’s Lars Lewen finishing third. Leman holds on to the red bib as the overall World Cup leader with 213 points, ahead of Switzerland’s Alex Fiva (195). Duncan sits fifth in the standings (160) and Del Bosco sixth (150).
Del Bosco’s next stop in the chase is at Les Contamines, France, where qualifying is Saturday and racing is Sunday.
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