Thompson edged her teammate by about the length of her fingers by extending her arm at the finish line.
France’s Alizee Baron finished third.
Simmerling described the thrilling finish like this:
“[Marielle] got into my draft, made a slightly better move than I did over the final jump, and got me at the line.
"After the race, a few too many people have come up to me and given me a [lesson] in reaching for the line,” she laughed. “Lesson learned!”
Thompson ruled the sport last season, winning Olympic gold and her second Crystal Globe as the World Cup season champion, and the Whistler, B.C. native is off to a great start this season with two straight wins. Thompson won the opener in December at Nakiska, Alta., where Vancouver’s Simmerling also finished second.
They’ll meet again on Saturday for another race at Val Thornes.
Thompson said there’s still room for improvement.
“With a couple of changes to my race line, I should be able to improve in several spots on the course and make for another great day,” she said.
In the men’s race, Montreal’s Chris Del Bosco was the top Canadian, finishing 10th. German Andreas Schauer won, with France’s Jean Frederic Chapuis coming in second and Austria’s Johannes Rohrweck third.
The men will also race again Saturday.