Two Canadians stood on the podium at the World Cup season opener in ski cross as Chris Del Bosco won the men’s race and Kelsey Serwa finished third in the women’s race on Thursday.
In the first of two races this weekend in Val Thorens, France, Del Bosco finished ahead of a pair of Frenchmen, Arnaud Bovolenta and Terence Tchiknavorian. It is the 10th career World Cup victory for the Canadian whose last win also came in Val Thorens in December 2015. He also claimed victory at the French resort in 2014. Teammate Brady Leman finished sixth after placing second in the Small Final.
In the Big Final, it only took the first couple of jumps for Del Bosco to take the lead, which he held all the way to the finish line.
Serwa was joined in the women’s Big Final by teammate Brittany Phelan, but they couldn’t keep up with Swede Sandra Naeslund and German Heidi Zacher, who finished first and second. Another Canadian, Georgia Simmerling, won the Small Final to finish fifth overall. This was Serwa’s first World Cup appearance since last December when she overshot a jump in training and damaged cartilage in her knee, requiring surgery. She returned to competition in late November at a couple of lower level events. Serwa now has 19 career World Cup podiums.
Thursday’s races were originally scheduled for Friday but were bumped up a day because of the threat of an incoming storm Thursday night and into Friday. The skiers will be back on the Val Thorens course on Saturday before the World Cup circuit heads to Arosa, Switzerland for some racing early next week.