Canadians crowded the ski cross World Cup Finals podiums on home snow on Friday.
Reece Howden led the charge with gold in the men’s race, while Courtney Hoffos and Marielle Thompson earned silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s race at Craigleith Ski Club in Collingwood, Ont.
Howden, of Cultus Lake, B.C., notched his third victory of the season after leading the big final from start to finish.
“It feels amazing. This is the biggest win of my season for sure,” he said in a post-race interview. “I hadn’t been this nervous for a race in a long time, did a good job suppressing it, but this is all I wanted.”
GOLD for Canada’s Reece Howden at the ski cross World Cup stop in Craigleith 🥇🇨🇦 <a href=”https://t.co/PyE7vKQFY4″>pic.twitter.com/PyE7vKQFY4</a>
Germany’s Florian Wilmsmann took silver, while France’s Youri Duplessis Kergomard rounded out the podium with bronze after fellow Frenchman Terence Tchiknavorian crashed out of the race.
Howden, who won the Crystal Globe as the overall points leader two seasons ago, is in pole position for the trophy once again.
The final men’s and women’s races of the season begin back at Craigleith on Saturday at noon ET. Live coverage will be available on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. Watch a replay of the event on CBC-TV at 5 p.m. ET.
Howden, 24, has now climbed seven podiums on the year, including three silvers and a bronze.
Fellow Canadian Brady Leman, the 36-year-old who announced this race would be his last, narrowly missed the big final after a third-place finish in the semis. He placed eighth overall.
Meanwhile, a trio of Canadians reached the big final in the women’s race, but it was Switzerland Fanny Smith who led wire-to-wire to clinch the gold medal.
Hoffos, of Windermere, B.C., landed her first podium of the year with her second-place finish, while Thompson, the 2014 Olympic champion from Whistler, B.C., earned her third bronze of the year to go with four silver medals.
Sweden’s Sandra Näslund, who already clinched the Crystal Globe after winning every World Cup race of the season in addition to world championship gold, did not compete.
Canada’s Hannah Schmidt was the lone big-final competitor to miss the podium after placing fourth, while fellow Canadian India Sherret finished seventh overall.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)