Another winning weekend has Cultus Lake’s Reece Howden flying high in World Cup ski cross competition.
Howden hit the slopes Jan. 20-24 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden, looking to continue his breakout season.
The 1998-born skier warmed up on day one with a fifth place finish in a short-sprint, then won two long-distance finals to increase his lead in the World Cup standings.
On Saturday (Jan. 23), Howden prevailed in a four-man final against Jonas Lenherr (Switzerland), Niklas Bachsleitner (Germany) and Simone Deromedis (Italy).
With a flair for the dramatic, Howden overtook Lenherr in the last meters of the race, beating him by a split second in a photo finish.
“The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong,” Howden told Alpine Canada post-race. “I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break, and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front. Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading, so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn’t have gone any better.”
On Sunday (Jan. 24) he triumphed in a rematch with Lenherr, with Switzerland’s Ryan Regez and Germany’s Cornel Renn also in the final.
Howden employed different strategy in this race, surging into the lead in the first section and holding off his foes.
“I wanted to do well today too, but I definitely didn’t put too much pressure on myself, as I did yesterday,” Howden said. “But in this final heat I got out in front, because I had a good chance and I just went for it and I just skied as fast as I could today and it worked out. I am so happy, this is unbelievable!”
Howden is not just leading the World Cup standings, he is dominating them after posting three wins in January.
He has 470 points. Next is Regez at 341 and Lenherr at 298.
Howden is heading for Germany now where he’ll try to do more of the same this week at the Feldberg Ski Resort.