MEGÈVE, FRA, 16 JAN 2013 – After a qualification day that saw heavy snow, challenging conditions for athletes and organizers alike, and some necessary program adjustments, the clouds parted in Megève, France, and Wednesday's Audi FIS Freestyle ski cross World Cup went ahead according to its originally planned schedule.
From the beginning, signs pointed to an unpredictable men's race. Many of Tueday's top qualifiers were names not normally seen near the top of the rankings, while several of the top ski cross athletes on the World Cup circuit found themselves near the back of the qualifying pack.
When the dust from the preliminary heats settled, the finals of the Megève race saw one racer currently at the top of his game in the ski cross world, Armin Niederer (SUI), and three talented skiers who have been threatening all season but have failed to translate some strong performances into podium places, in Igor Korotkov (RUS), Jouni Pellinen (FIN), and John Teller (USA).
Teller ended up running away with the race, negotiating some jostling out of the start gate and a near-fall on one of the course's middle-section hip jumps to steadily pull away from the pack and win easily. Pellinen – who raced in every heat with Teller on their way to the finals – managed to hold on to 2nd. Niederer – who currently sits second in World Cup ski cross points behind his countryman Alex Fiva – rounded out the top three.
John Teller (USA) ran away with Wednesday's race for his first win in nearly two years and his first podium since the 2011-12 season.
Jouni Pellinen (FIN) claimed the 4th podium of his career after three consecutive races of finishing outside the top ten
Armin Niederer's 3rd place finish moves him to within 2 points of teammate Alex Fiva for overall World Cup lead