Chris Del Bosco gave the crowd at Blue Mountain, Ont., plenty to cheer about when he won the men’s final at the ski cross World Cup event on Friday.
Del Bosco, of Sudbury, Ont., followed up his victory at the world championships in Deer Valley, Utah, last week by staying cool on a technical course to record his second consecutive win. Overall World Cup leader Andreas Matt, of Austria, was second at the Rockstar Ski Cross Grand Prix event, and Tomas Kraus, of the Czech Republic, was third.
Local favourite Nik Zoricic, of Toronto, Ont., won the small final to take fifth place overall. On the women’s side, world champion Kelsey Serwa, of Kelowna, B.C., fell in the semifinal but also took the small final to finish fifth.
“It feels pretty good. Hopefully I can keep it going,” said Del Bosco. “My first start of the day was pretty horrible but from there on out, the starts got better.”
Del Bosco found himself in fourth place in the first heat. Facing early elimination, he managed to claw his way into second place to ensure he advanced. In the final, he got out to an early lead and never looked in danger of relinquishing it.
“He was fired up today,” said head coach Eric Archer of Del Bosco. “He battled through the first run, going from fourth to second, and he just nailed it in the final.”
There was a scary moment for Canada at the quarter-final stage when Whistler’s Stan Rey lost control in the air on a jump and landed on his back. He was carried off the hill and taken to a hospital in Collingwood, Ont. Rey suffered a pelvic fracture. It’s too early to determine when he will return to competition.
“It was a tough day to stay focused with everything that was going on,” said Archer. “The course sped up. It was probably 20 to 30 per cent faster than yesterday. Everything became super short and super technical.”
Zoricic battled his way through to the semi-final but lost out to Kraus and Del Bosco in the second semi-final.
“Nik skied great,” said Archer. “We had a good strategy in place for him from the beginning.”
Davey Barr, of Whistler, B.C., went out in the first heat and finished 21st overall.
On the women’s side, Serwa’s winning streak came to a crashing halt when she went out in the semi-final. She landed a jump early and appeared to have her skis taken out from behind in a collision with Sweden’s Anna Holmlund. She wasn’t seriously hurt and skied down the hill to the finish. In the small final, Serwa pulled off an impressive passing move to take the victory and finish fifth overall.
“I did all that I could do,” said a disappointed Serwa after the race. “I had a good opportunity to win. It’s kind of frustrating but that’s the way it goes. I did the best I could. At least I won the small final.”
Serwa picked up a minor elbow injury in the crash but will now have a few weeks to rest up and heal her back, which she injured en route to winning gold at the X Games.
“I’m going to rest and have physio four hours a day,” joked Serwa.
Germany’s Anna Woerner won the final, with Fanny Smith, of Switzerland coming second, and Jenny Owens of Australia third.
Whistler’s Julia Murray and Calgary’s Danielle Poleschuk were both third in their quarter-finals and were eliminated.