Smith and Mahler winners on second race day in Val Thorens

A very strong Fanny Smith (SUI) showed the best of ski cross skiing from beginning to end, although the first quarterfinal heat almost had her crash, but she managed to get away from this risky situation that took out Marielle Thompson (CAN) and Sanna Luedi (SUI) who unfortunately walked away with an injury from this fall.

Yesterday’s winner Sandra Naeslund (SWE) was also able to advance into the big final next to Canada’s Courtney Hoffos and India Sherret, who took second and third place respectively on the first race day.

Naeslund was the first out of the start gate and managed to get into the lead, but shortly afterwards, Smith took the opportunity to pass the Swedish Cross Alps Tour leader and to stay in front until the very finish line, making her the winner of the day. Courtney Hoffos was on fire again today and showed that she remembered how to ski down fast on this course and ended up in third place, unfortunately not leaving any spot on the podium for her teammate India Sherret.

“The craziest for me about today’s win is the fact that I achieved my 20thWorld Cup win and my 40thWorld Cup podium, so I am really excited about that”, a super happy and proud Smith commented.

The men’s racing was nothing short of real ski cross action today. 24-year-old Kris Mahler (CAN) claimed his maiden win after a flawless performance throughout the day. The big final saw also Switzerland’s Joos Berry and the French duo Bastien Midol and Jean-Frederic Chapuis fighting for podium spots.

After the Swiss athlete crashed, the Frenchmen were chasing Mahler to make it a win on home soil, but the Canadian was on top of his game today and took the first place of the heat all the way down to the finish, leaving Bastien Midol in second place and Val Thorens’s ski cross hero in third place.

The French home crowd of course went wild in the finish area, shouting “Allez Les Bleus” and celebrating their podium heroes in style.

Kris Mahler was clearly relieved that “after two years of injuries on the shoulders and knees, he was able to get back to good skiing and be mentally ready and prepared for some good racing.”

Sandra Naeslund is still Cross Alps Tour leader and is getting closer to her determined goal to go for the CAT hat-trick. Also yesterday’s winner Kevin Drury is still the Cross Alps Tour leader on the men’s side after winning today’s small final, finishing in 5thplace.

Now it is time to pack things up and move to the next stop on the Cross Alps Tour, which will be Montafon, Austria. Qualies are scheduled for Dec 12 and it is race time on Dec 14. Stay tuned!

There were no British racers competing.

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