Winner in his last three World Cup outings, Mikaël Kingsbury faced his share of adversity on Saturday at Alpe d’Huez. Despite a defeat in the semi-final of the parallel event, he recovered in his last race of the day against Louis-David Chalifoux to obtain the bronze medal.

Wearing the yellow bib of leader in the general classification of the event, Kingsbury had to measure himself against big names from the start of his elimination course in a duel. But, true to form, the athlete from Deux-Montagnes stringed together victories to reach the semi-finals, where he faced Walter Wallberg.

Just as was the case during their most recent meetings, the two rivals offered a very exciting race to the spectators present. The Quebecer crossed the finish line 0.19 seconds before Wallberg, but technical errors at the top of the course cost him valuable points and victory went to the Swede.

” I have tried everything ! The blue course was a little more difficult, it was not the one I had skied in singles and it was a little squarer. I pushed as hard as I could, made a few small mistakes on the descent and arrived at the bottom before him. I haven’t seen the replay of the duel yet, but I can’t wait to watch it,” Kingsbury said after the event won by Wallberg.

The latter put an exclamation point on his day by winning gold against his compatriot Rasmus Stegfeldt.

“Obviously I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t beat Walter to give me the chance to go back to the other lane for the final, but it is what it is,” continued Kingsbury, who didn’t leave with his hands empty nonetheless.

On the contrary, he bounced back to defeat Louis-David Chalifoux in the small final. The veteran set the pace from the start of the race and his young teammate was unable to keep up. He went off the track shortly after the first jump, leaving Kingsbury to go alone towards the 120th podium of his World Cup career and a fifth in as many events this season. He still sits at the top of the provisional ranking of the discipline.

“It’s a good weekend for me. I’m happy with my energy level and how I feel. I know I can fight in every duel,” analyzed the one who had previously defeated the Swiss Marco Tade, the Kazakh Pavel Kolmakov and the Frenchman Benjamin Cavet, three athletes who have won multiple medals on the international circuit.

For his part, Chalifoux once again proved that he will be one to watch for the rest of the season. After sixth and seventh places obtained last week in Idre Fjäll, the athlete from Quebec came even closer to the podium and his presence in the final four on Saturday constitutes the best result of his career in the World Cup.

Just behind in the general classification of the event is Julien Viel, who saw his path stop in the quarter-final due to a setback against the same Chalifoux. Gabriel Dufresne (9th) was beaten by Wallberg in the round of 16.

Silver medalist behind Kingsbury on Friday in singles, Elliot Vaillancourt was unable to repeat his exploits on Saturday. He suffered elimination in his first qualifying race and is in 29th place.

The only Quebecer in action in the women’s event, Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert (20th) lost her flag in the second elimination round against the eventual silver medalist, the American Olivia Giaccio.

The Canadian team will head to Bakouriani, Georgia, for a stage scheduled for December 22 and 23.