Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Leman in Limbo Waiting for Weather to Launch Start of World Cup Ski Cross Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Leman in Limbo Waiting for Weather to Launch Start of World Cup Ski Cross Season

Article excerpt

Canada's Brady Leman in ski cross limbo

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Brady Leman will find out what it's like racing as the reigning Olympic men's ski cross champion, if the season ever starts.

The 32-year-old Calgarian and the rest of the Canadian ski cross team have been cooling their heels in Europe, where warm temperatures and lack of snow have delayed World Cup races deep into December.

The season-opener in Val Thorens, France, which has the highest base elevation of any European ski resort, a sprint race in Arosa, Switzerland, and this week's World Cup in Montafon, Austria, have either been cancelled or postponed.

"It put us in a very awkward position as a team, as Canadians, because we're kind of stuck in limbo over here," Leman told The Canadian Press from Austria on Tuesday.

"We were kind of floating around waiting to hear what to do with races. We weren't sure if we should go back to Canada, stay over here. We ended up staying over here and waiting for the call. We've definitely been chasing the snow and watching the forecast."

The Arosa sprint that Leman would have raced Tuesday was pushed to Dec. 17.

Snow and temperature conditions are finally favourable for that event, which starts with Sunday's qualification rounds.

"It'll be interesting to see where we're at come Monday for the race," Leman said. "It's a sprint race to start off, so they're a little bit weird."

The sprint is an ultra-short version of ski cross in which skiers go head-to-head over jumps and rollers. The Arosa race will be held under lights at night.

"It's a really fun atmosphere for us, but it's only 25 seconds long," Leman explained.

"It turns into a race out of the gate. Sometimes there's a chance to make a pass at the bottom, but it's a lot harder when your course is half the length to what you're used to."

Canada is world power in ski cross.

Leman will be joined in Arosa by Olympic women's gold and silver medallists Kelsey Serwa of Kelowna, B. …

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