December 19, 2015

SAN CANDIDO, Italy (AP) Olympic champion Jean-Frederic Chapuis of France won a second successive ski cross World Cup to cut Christopher Del Bosco's lead in the standings after the Canadian was eliminated in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

After last week's success on home slopes, Chapuis beat Brady Leman of Canada in the four-man final, with Johannes Rohrweck of Canada third, followed by Bastien Midol of France.

''I had a good feeling on my skis,'' Chapuis said. ''I felt like I could make a lot of speed in the turns. Everything was almost perfect. I could have maybe been a little bit better on the start, but it was OK. I felt (Leman) behind me on the first turn, but after that I just focused on my race, and on not making a mistake.''

Del Bosco was looking for his fourth win in five races, but instead saw his lead slashed to 16 points. Leman was third, 26 points behind his compatriot.

Heidi Zacher of Germany was the surprise winner of the women's event, taking advantage of a crash to claim only a second career victory, four years after her first.

World Cup titleholder Anna Holmlund and Sandra Naeslund appeared to be on course for a Swedish one-two but as Alizee Baron attempted to overtake them, the French skier got tangled up in Holmund's skis, knocking Naeslund off balance and crashing into the nets.

Zacher was able to pass the trio and continue unchallenged to the finish line.

''It's great to be back on the top of the podium,'' Zacher said. ''I like the course here and I like being here. I always come back here with a good feeling, and now to get the victory, it's perfect.

''I was trying to find somewhere to pass, but I had no chance. And then into the last turn the other three girls all tried to pass each other, they all crashed, and I passed all of them and won the race. Perfect!''

World Cup leader Holmund was second, ahead of Naeslund.

''I made a little mistake on the jump before the negative, and you can't do that in the final,'' Holmlund said. ''Then Sandra came on one side and Alizee on the other side and ... smack. It's nothing to talk about though. It was fair skiing.''

Olympic champion Marielle Thompson crashed while leading qualifying, injuring her hip. The Canadian skier was able to walk off the piste but was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Alpine Canada said ''Thompson suffered no major injuries and will use time over the next few weeks to recover.''

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