Thompson sets new career high 

Whistler skier posts eighth-place finish in Italy

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GEPA COURTESY OF ALPINE CANADA - COMING TOGETHER Broderick Thompson took eighth in the Alpine combined in Bormio, Italy last week.
  • Photo by GEPA courtesy of Alpine Canada
  • COMING TOGETHER Broderick Thompson took eighth in the Alpine combined in Bormio, Italy last week.

Broderick Thompson made the FIS World Cup top 10 for the first time on Dec. 29, securing the eighth-place position in Alpine combined in Bormio, Italy.

In his first-ever series at the northern Italian resort, the 23-year-old Whistlerite posted a strong showing, finishing 1.22 seconds back of winner Alexis Pinturault of France. Italian Peter Fill and Norway's Kjetil Jansrud also hit the podium.

"I just progressed in training again. It was my first time in Bormio, so it was a learning process the first couple runs of downhill but the third one felt pretty good," he said. "I did make some mistakes but I had some pretty good splits at the bottom of the course that set me up strongly in the slalom, and then I just skied strong in the slalom.

"I was happy when I got to the finish line."

Thompson was enthusiastic to get to Bormio and quickly memorized the course to determine how best to approach it.

"Bormio was my last new classic (course) that I hadn't done before. They all take a little bit of (time) getting to know them. You're focused on the line on the first couple (times) and then you can push it the more times you run the course," he said. "By the third, it was more ingrained in my memory and I could push it a little bit more."

While Thompson and Bormio seemed to suit each other well, he's of the mindset he can put up the results he desires if he skis well.

"At any course, I can have a good result. I just need to be confident with my training and the way I'm skiing. I do like the high speeds and the bumpy, icy courses. It was a bit like that on the third day. It got a little harder and colder," he said. "It was more fun and a little faster."

Over the course of his World Cup career, Thompson has had his best showings in the Alpine combined, with four of his six top-30 finishes coming in that discipline. Racing a combination of two fairly different approaches is a welcome opportunity for Thompson, even as part of full days.

"They're long days, so you're on the hill from 8 until about 3 or 4. You get some warm-up runs in on a separate course before you do the slalom, so you get a little bit adjusted from that," he said. "You go from straight skis to skis that want to turn.

"It's fun to go between the long and the short (skis) on the same day."

Thompson was home for New Year's and will be around Whistler for the next few days before heading back to Europe for downhill and Alpine combined races in Wengen, Switzerland, where he's posted two top-30 performances. His itinerary also includes stops in Kitzbuhel, Austria and Garmisch, Germany.

After that, it looks likely Thompson will be off to PyeongChang, South Korea — he noted he's met the criteria to qualify — though nothing is official at this point. He's looking to avoid peering too far ahead into the future at any rate.

"I'm not there yet, so I'm going step by step, just like I have been," he said.

Another Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus performed well in Bormio as Manny Osborne-Paradis tied for 10th in the downhill, 1.12 second back of Italy's Dominik Paris. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud were also on the podium. Thompson was 42nd and fellow Canadian Ben Thomsen was 51st.

The Canadian women were in action in Lienz, Austria, with only Roni Remme hitting the points. She took 26th in the slalom as American Mikaela Shiffrin took the win over Switzerland's Wendy Holdener and Sweden's Frida Hansdotter.

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