Grimus’s fastest qualification result, which was the first time in his World Cup career he has achieved that distinction, placed the bearded Australian into race one of the four-man knock out finals with the sought after bib number 1, pitted against three Swiss skiers.
But unfortunately Grimus crossed the line in third, with only the first two advancing to the quarter finals.
Grimus challenged for the lead in the heat but after being checked, which negatively impacted the Australian’s speed, he was not able to fight his way back to the front.
Severe winds and snow brought the day to a halt soon after, with the event being stopped after the last of the men’s quarter finals was decided.
Organisers had no alternative but to combine the first final and the quarter final places with qualification session results to form an overall finishing order.
Canadian Christopher Delbosco, who finished second to Grimus in qualifying, was awarded the win, ahead of German Daniel Bohnacker and Swede Victor Oehling Norberg in third.
In the women’s event, AIS/NSWIS athletes Sami Kennedy-Sim and Katya Crema improved on their qualification results by finishing the day in 19th and 21st. Jenny Owens did not qualify.
Switzerland’s Sanna Luedi won, ahead of Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund in second and Austrian Katrin Ofner in third.
AIS ski cross program head coach Matt Lyons believes that the wind, more so than heavy snow, was the main problem that caused the abandonment of the event.
Lyons said that winds reached 80 km/h but more importantly the wind was gusting directly behind athletes leaving the start gate, causing athletes difficulties in gauging speeds going into jumps and features.
So unpredictable was the wind that it caused all four athletes to crash in one of the heats.
The Australian squad competes again tomorrow in the second stage of the double header. The event will be the last ski cross World Cup before the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in Russia next month.