Canada’s Chris Del Bosco added another podium to his growing collection on Thursday when he finished third at the ski cross World Cup stop at Grindelwald, Switzerland.
Del Bosco, of Sudbury, Ont., was hoping to follow up the gold medal he won at last month’s world championships with another victory but he got tangled up with the USA’s John Teller in the men’s final and had to settle for third on the long, wide open course.
“It’s just kind of the way it goes,” said Del Bosco. “The first three heats were really good but the start in the final wasn’t my best.
“The draft was pretty big here and we got pulled in weird spots. I was staying a little out of the draft but John got pulled and I landed (after a jump) with one of my skis between his legs. I managed to stay up but lost speed.”
Canada’s men dominated qualification Wednesday with five skiers finishing in the top 10. But all five Canadians were bunched together in the bottom half of the draw and only Del Bosco made it through to the final.
Whistler’s Davey Barr, who finished seventh overall, was eliminated at the semi-final stage in a heat won by Del Bosco. Dave Duncan, of Golden, B.C., and Toronto’s Nik Zoricic went out in the quarter-finals and finished ninth and 11th, respectively. Brian Bennett, of Quesnel, B.C., who was second fastest in qualification, was 17th.
“It was good to see the depth of the men’s team coming back,” said Eric Archer, Canada’s head coach, who added that as the snow became softer the bottom of the course became ripe for drafting and passing. “Everyone except Brian moved into the quarter-finals. Zoricic was out front in his heat but he was kind of a sitting duck.”
Thursday’s men’s final was won by overall World Cup leader Andreas Matt, of Austria, with Finland’s Jouni Pellinen taking second place.
“I think everybody would have liked to do a little better but it’s tough,” said Del Bosco of the Canadians having to battle against each other in the same part of the draw.
“We are all skiing well so hopefully it will be the same thing in qualifying on Saturday and we will be spread out in the finals.”
On the women’s side, world champion Kelsey Serwa, of Kelowna, B.C., and Calgary’s Danielle Poleschuk were eliminated in the first heats of the day. Serwa, who had been hoping to make up ground on overall World Cup leader Heidi Zacher, of Germany, also fell victim to drafting lower down the course in her quarter-final. She finished 10th overall, with Poleschuk placing 11th.
“The girl was able to sit in her draft,” said Archer of Serwa’s heat, in which the X Games champion was third behind Germany’s Anna Woerner and Austria’s Katrin Ofner. “There’s not much you can do about that.”