Canada's Reece Howden wins World Cup ski cross gold

·2 min read

VAL THORENS, France — Canada's Reece Howden won gold in men's World Cup ski cross and Marielle Thompson placed third among women Monday.

Howden, from Cultus Lake, B.C., and Thompson, from Whistler, B.C., landed on the podium for the second time in as many days.

Howden was second and Thompson third on the Val Thorens course Sunday.

The Canadian beat runner-up Ryan Regez of Switzerland and bronze medallist Francois Place of France in the head-to-head final.

Extreme winds had forced the cancellation of Saturday's World Cup to Monday.

Howden, 22, raced part-time last season because he was studying geomatics — geographic data — at Calgary's Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

“Today I had an awesome day. It was a lot of fun," Howden said following his victory. "I was able to achieve a goal I set for myself a long time ago. It feels amazing. Hard work pays off."

He still managed to win World Cup gold at Alberta's Nakiska Ski Resort in January, so Monday's victory was the second of his young career.

“I’ve got a lot more skiing in this year after finishing a diploma in May," Howden said. "I’m super-stoked it’s paying off.”

He tops the men's World Cup standings after four events. Thompson ranks second among women behind Switzerland's Fanny Smith.

Kartrin Ofner of Austria and Daniela Maier of Germany finished first and second, respectively, Monday ahead of Thompson.

“Today I tried to be a bit faster on my starts, still ended up having to make a few moves and some pretty good passing," the 2014 Olympic women's champion said.

"I’m really happy with how I skied today and I’m really excited for a break."

Zoe Chore of Cranbrook, B.C., finished seventh and Courtney Hoffos of Invermere, B.C., 10th among women.

The ski cross team's next World Cup is Jan. 15 in Montafon, Austria.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press