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Canadian Brittany Phelan wins her first women's ski cross World Cup gold medal

REITERALM, AUSTRIA — Canadian Brittany Phelan finally has her first women's ski cross World Cup gold medal.

Phelan, 32, finished first in the women's final Sunday. The Canadian has been competing in World Cup events since 2016 and before Sunday's race had earned 16 podium finishes but never received the gold medal.

"It feels awesome to finally get the win today, it's been a long time coming," said Phelan. "It's about time.

"This is my 17th World Cup podium and it’s been a bit of a joke that I’m always the bridesmaid and never the bride, so to cross that line in first and to get the win feels amazing."

Phelan, of Mont-Tremblant, Que., finished ahead of France's Marielle Berger Sabbatel for the win. Talina Gantenbein and Margaux Dumont, both of Switzerland, crashed partway through the race and finished tied for third in the four-skier competition.

Phelan earned silver medals in two prior events this month. She stepped on to the podium for the fifth time this season.

"I love this track," Phelan said. "It was a little slower today with the fresh snow and awesome that they were able to get the race in.

"It's a bigger track with a lot of technical and tactical aspects and I love putting the puzzle together."

Marielle Thompson, of Whistler, B.C., who'd won three straight World Cup gold medals, was 13th after not finishing her quarterfinal heat. India Sherret of Cranbrook, B.C., was ninth overall.

Thompson, though, remained atop the World Cup standings with 832 points. Sabbatel is second with Phelan third with 632 points, with Phelan chasing her first top-three finish since 2018 when she was third.

Reece Howden, of Chilliwack, B.C., was 11th in the men's event but remains atop the overall standings with 566 points. Gavin Rowell of Prince George, B.., was 17th, four spots ahead of Ottawa's Jared Schmidt while Edmonton's Carson Cook was 24th.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press