Team Canada Georgia SimmerlingPhoto: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Simmerling places second at ski cross World Cup in Italy

Georgia Simmerling has earned her first World Cup podium of the season, finishing second at the ski cross event in Innichen, Italy on Thursday.

Racing in the Big Final for the second time this winter, Simmerling finished sandwiched between Germany’s Heidi Zacher and Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund. Both of those women have been on the podium in all four World Cup events so far.

Simmerling had been in the lead for a while in the final until Zacher overtook her towards the finish. Simmerling had won her quarterfinal heat and placed second to Naeslund in their semifinal to advance to the Big Final. Kelsey Serwa won the Small Final to finish fifth overall.

This is Simmerling’s eighth career World Cup podium and the third time she has been in the top-three in Innichen. It was also the site of her first podium when she finished second back in December 2012. She placed third there a year ago to the day.

The podium finish for Simmerling comes after a couple of near-misses earlier this month. She finished fifth in Val Thorens to open the season, followed by a fourth-place finish in Arosa, Switzerland. There is a second set of World Cup races scheduled for Friday in Innichen before the circuit takes a bit of a break for the holidays.