Marielle Thompson's first World Cup victory was accomplished with some of the top skiers in the sport on the sidelines, including French champion Ophelie David, prompting a few reporters at the post-race press conference to ask her if that took anything away from the win.
But if there were any doubts about how good Thompson really is, she put those to rest on Saturday in Branas, Sweden with her second win of the season against a field that included David, Katrin Meuller and other top skiers.
Thompson was followed by Emilie Serain of Switzerland and David, while Meuller placed fourth.
The other proof that Thompson is a genuine threat is in the rankings. With just two events remaining she now sits first overall in the standings with 490 points — 10 more than David, and 85 more than Mueller.
So far this season she's been on the World Cup podium five times; two gold, one silver and two bronze.
"I'm really happy," said Thompson, "It's great to have another win. I love this course. It's super fun.
In her final run of the day, Thompson took the lead after the first feature and opened up a big gap when Serain and David bumped into each other near the top. An excellent glider, Thompson wasn't challenged again for the rest of the race.
"It's pretty cool to have the red (leader's) bib," said Thompson. "I didn't really expect that this year but it's definitely a good spot to be standing in, going into the last two races. It's so tight on the women's side as well. I don't want to get my hopes up... I just want to keep it going."
On the men's side, Brady Leman was the top Canadian finishing fourth.
Despite missing the podium Leman had reason to celebrate as he was also at the top of the World Cup men's leaderboard.
It's been a long road to the top for Leman, with three broken legs in his career. At Branas, he was in contention to podium until he went off course.
"Just coming into the turn I came up a hair short on the double and lost my skis and the turn and loaded up and... went off course," said Leman. "The other two guys went by me and as I was coming back in, there was a little bit of contact with one of the other racers, which probably slowed both of us down and caused me to miss a gate.
"My mentality in the final was to try and win. I was taking risks and unfortunately made a little bit of a mistake."
Finland's Jouin Pellinen was the top competitor of the day. He was followed by Filip Flisar of Slovenia in second and Austria's Andreas Matt in third.
Chris Del Bosco finished in ninth place and Nick Zoricic was the next best Canadian at 13th place. Brian Bennett and David Duncan rounded out the top 20 finishing in 19th and 20th respectively. Tristan Tafel finished the day in 31st.
Ski cross is considered a freestyle discipline. With Leman and Thompson in contention, Mikael Kingsbury on top in men's moguls, Olivier Rochon on top in men's aerials, Kaya Turski on top in slopestyle and Rosalind Groenewoud on top in women's halfpipe there's a chance that Canada could win up to six crystal globes this year as well as the overall Nations Cup.
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