Team Canada Brittany PhelanPhoto: AP/Rick Bowmer
Photo: AP/Rick Bowmer

First career World Cup ski cross podiums for Phelan, Drury

The weather may have been frightful, but the results were delightful for Kevin Drury and Brittany Phelan, who both earned their first career World Cup podiums on Tuesday.

The event in Arosa, Switzerland was cut short after heavy snow forced the cancellation of the elimination rounds and finals. Instead, the podiums and World Cup points were awarded based on the standings from the timed qualification runs.

Related: Freestyle Skiing 2017-18 winter preview

In the men’s event, Drury was the second-fastest man down the course in 31.97 seconds, trailing only Swede Viktor Andersson’s 31.66 seconds. Another Swede, Victor Oehling Norberg, claimed the bronze in 32.02 seconds. Canadians Ian Deans and Dave Duncan placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

Drury’s previous best World Cup results were a pair of fourth place finishes, the first coming at the PyeongChang 2018 test event in February 2016. The other was just about a year ago in Montafon, Austria.

Phelan completed the course in 35.02 seconds to finish behind Swede Sandra Naeslund and German Heidi Zacher. Both of those women had finished in the same order at the season-opening World Cup stop this past Thursday where Phelan had placed fourth. That had matched her previous career best result from this past March in Blue Mountain, Ontario. On Tuesday, it was Georgia Simmerling who was just off the podium in fourth place.

Snow has been causing chaos early in this ski cross World Cup season. The races that had been held on Thursday in Val Thorens, France had actually been moved up a day to avoid a storm coming through the region on Friday. That storm led to the second set of scheduled races in Val Thorens to be cancelled entirely. Qualification for the Arosa races was to have taken place on Monday but were postponed due to strong winds.

There is not much of a break for the ski cross racers before their next event begins on Thursday in Montafon, Austria.