Thompson snags win in Sweden 

Sports briefs: Gagnon takes third in Switzerland

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MATTHIAS HAUER/GEPA PICTURES - sporting red Whistler's Marielle Thompson (third from right) is shown on the podium in Idre Fjell, Sweden after winning the FIS World Cup ski-cross race on Feb. 14.
  • Photo by Matthias Hauer/GEPA Pictures
  • sporting red Whistler's Marielle Thompson (third from right) is shown on the podium in Idre Fjell, Sweden after winning the FIS World Cup ski-cross race on Feb. 14.

Marielle Thompson launched a home offensive against Sweden's Anna Holmlund in her bid for a third FIS Crystal Globe.

Over the course of a pair of weekend ski-cross races in Idre Fjall, Sweden, Thompson placed second before securing a victory. Unfortunately for Thompson, the runner-up performance was to Holmlund, though when she won, the Swede went out in the semis to allow the 23-year-old Whistlerite to pick up some major ground.

Holmlund currently has 815 points to Thompson's 607, while France's Alizee Baron sits third with 539.

In the opening race, Holmlund managed to hold off a hard-charging Thompson, who appeared half-a-step behind for most of the race.

In the second go, Thompson edged out Sweden's Sandra Naeslund and Baron.

"I tried to ski my best all day today and be patient with the course. There were opportunities to make big moves on the bottom portion of the track which I capitalized on a couple times today," Thompson told the Alpine Canada website after her second race. "The track was a lot faster today and the weather was perfect. It could not have been a better day." 

Canada brought home another podium finish as Chris Del Bosco placed second in the first men's race. He pulled it off after weather limited the amount of practice athletes were granted with a new venue on the FIS circuit.

"It was tough to get fired up with a couple days off and only two training runs, two days ago," Del Bosco told the website. "I feel really good to be back on the podium on the World Cup circuit after my result at the X Games (where he took third). I've been skiing well and I can hopefully take today's result and build on it for tomorrow's race." 

On the second day, Louis-Pierre Hélie made the big final for the first time in his World Cup career, but placed fourth.

Gagnon places third

After her first run, Marie-Michèle Gagnon wasn't even on pace for a top-10 finish in slalom action at Crans Montana, Switzerland on Feb. 15.

But she ended up getting there — and claiming some hardware, too.

After sitting 11th at the race's midway point, the Quebec skier posted the third-best second run to not only launch herself into the day's 10 best skiers, but land on the podium in third as well.

Gagnon's two-run combined time of one minute, 29.70 seconds (1:29.70) placed her exactly half-a-second back of American Mikaela Shiffrin. France's Nastasia Noens was five-hundredths of a second ahead of Gagnon in second.

Skiers were forced to deal with a huge dump of snow in the days leading up to the race, as well as foggy conditions on-course the day of the event.


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