Canada's Howden races to fourth World Cup ski cross victory of the season

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SOLNECHNAYA DOLINA, Russia — Canadian Reece Howden continued his dominance of the World Cup ski cross circuit on Saturday.

The 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., got off to a fast start and held on to win his fourth World Cup race this season.

Howden, who had already clinched the overall title last month, beat silver medallist Ryo Sugai of Japan in the big final. Joos Berry of Switzerland took the bronze.

"After those first few heats I was a bit nervous, but as I made my way through it, the confidence came back and when I was sitting in the start gate of the big final, I was feeling so good I just sent it - and I'm so happy with the result," Howden said.

Courtney Hoffos of Windermere, B.C., caught an edge and fell in the women's big final and finished fourth.

"It was a good day overall," Hoffos said. "I had a lot of confidence felt really dialed in my first few heats. I felt like I was skiing well. It was too bad bad that I caught an edge and went down."

Switzerland's Fanny Smith won the event, while Sweden's Sandra Naeslund was second and Austria Katrin Ofner crossed third.

Tiana Gairns of Prince George, B.C. was fifth.

Next up for the Canadians is the World Cup Finals in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press