Cross Alps Tour final show in Innichen with Swiss wins

Thanks to a tremendous effort from the OC, volunteers, coaches and teams put into hard work to clear the course from the huge amounts of snow, the seemingly impossible became possible at last. The final race of the Cross Alps Tour was held in Innichen/ San Candido today.

What a show! Although weather conditions weren’t really all that favourable at first, ski cross athletes put on a great performance, showing that the last race of December needed to go down with a bang. Passes, jumps, tight racing – we saw it all!

A little surprise was Kevin Drury going out in the first eight final heat, but since he was in the lead at the Cross Alps Tour standings with a big enough margin, nobody was going to threat his first CAT win.

Literally all heats were unpredictable, sitting in last did not mean at all that one couldn’t make it to the very first spot of the heat. We saw ski cross action at its best – Innichen / San Candido just never disappoints!

Fighting their way into the big final were on the women’s side Fanny Smith (SUI), Marielle Thompson (CAN), Sandra Naeslund (SWE) and Germany’s Daniela Maier also found her way into the podium fighting party.

Naeslund shot out of the start gate as if she was a rocket, making clear that she wanted to take the win of the day, next to the Cross Alps Tour crown. Fanny Smith was sitting in second, Marielle Thompson in third and Maier in fourth, but not for very long, as she took the opportunity to pass Thompson, who left the door open.

Naeslund and Smith were head to head until one bank, where Smith managed to pass the Swedish athlete and take off. Thompson and Maier fighting over spots three and four, until at the last turn, Naeslund making a big mistake and losing her line, making space for Thompson and Maier to pass.

That way Smith took the win, followed by the Canadian and the German, Naeslund losing her spot on the podium.

The big final of men saw a duel between Switzerland and France. Jonas Lenherr and Joos Berry being the Swiss representatives against the Frenchmen Bastien Midol and Francois Place. Midol taking the lead quickly after the start, but already the first turn gave Berry space to sneak into first, Lenherr and Place being in third and fourth.

Lenherr then managed to grab second position behind his Swiss teammate, but in the first negative turn he went too far out of the course and additionally Place skied on his skis, causing Lenherr to slow down and again leaving space for Midol to grab the second spot again. The race finished with Joos Berry taking his second career win, of which his first also was in Innichen/ San Candido, Bastien Midol in second and Jonas Lenherr in third.

On the women’s side, Sandra Naeslund managed to stay on the top of the CAT ranking list with her steady appearances on the podium at every race this season, except for today. This means that Sandra Naeslund won the CAT three times in a ow, making it a first ever CAT hat-trick.

Kevin Drury did win the Cross Alps Tour 2019 on the men’s side and the Nations Cup went to team Canada for having Canadian athletes on every podium of each race.

Time to go home and dig in those Christmas cookies and enjoy a little well-deserved break.
Merry Christmas everyone and a happy and healthy New Year full of exciting ski cross shows!

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