Edmonton

Racers vie for world cup spot at Sunridge Ski Cross Challenge

More than 200 skiers from across North America raced down the hill at Sunridge Ski Area in Edmonton this weekend, vying for a spot at the ski cross world cup next year.
Racer Kevin MacDonald said the chilly weather didn't slow anyone down. (CBC)

More than 200 skiers from across North America raced down the hill at Sunridge Ski Area in Edmonton this weekend, vying for a spot at the ski cross world cup next year.

The Sunridge Ski Cross Challenge was Edmonton's first official ski cross race and the first race on a non-mountain in western Canada. 

"Sunridge put on a great course, it's short but technical," said Kevin MacDonald, who came in second in his race.

"Perfect conditions, perfect weather. A bit chilly but we all stayed warm."

Ski cross pits four skiers against each other as they race down a course of rollers, turns and jumps, with the goal of finishing first. The fastest athletes can finish the course in about 25 seconds.

The event's NorAm Cup Race is a stepping stone for a spot on the world cup, but the event also featured a western ski cross series race to expose younger athletes to the sport.

The event was one of six races held across Canada and the U.S.

"You can have a ski cross track even if you don't have a big hill," Canada Ski Cross Sport Development Manager Lauren Kucera said. 

"It's quick, it's fast and it's really exciting."