Bibian Mentel-Spee, Mike Shea win Snowboard World Cup19.01.2014
The 2014 IPCAS Snowboard Cross World Cup in Colorado, USA, was dominated by Dutch and US riders, hoping to secure their place on the team for the Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
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"It was really good to see all of my hard training pay off. I have spent a lot of long tough days on the snow and in the gym."
Mentel-Spee had a decisive victory, finishing in 1:27.85 - a time that would have got her to fifth place in the men's competition. Her nearest challenger was teammate Lisa Bunschoten (1:48.92). USA's Heidi Jo Duce was not far behind in third place in 1:49.04.
Mentel-Spee leads the World Cup rankings with 2,000 points, Bunschoten is second with 1,400 points and USA's Amy Purdy, who finished sixth on Saturday's race, is ranked third with 1,200 points.
US riders dominated the men's podium with Mike Shea (1:21.10) and Evan Strong (1:24.18) taking first and second place on home soil.
For Shea, it was the second consecutive World Cup victory after his win in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, in November 2013, securing his lead in the World Cup rankings with 2,000 points.
"Today was an awesome day of racing for me," Shea told USParalympics.org. "It was really good to see all of my hard training pay off. I have spent a lot of long tough days on the snow and in the gym. Everyone rode really well today, and with Sochi in sight, it's really good to see how everybody has stepped it up. I look forward to the races ahead."
Strong was also pleased with his performance, commenting from @evan_strong on Instagram: "Great first race of the season! I had such an awesome experience riding with racers from all around the world. Looking forward to tomorrow's 2nd out of 4 world cups this week."
With 800 points a-piece, Strong is in joint-second place in the World Cup rankings alongside teammate Keith Gabel, who did not compete in Saturday's race and Finland's Matti Suur-Hamari, who finished 15th.
Canada's John Leslie took third place in 1:27.01.
The World Cup in Copper Mountain continues on Sunday (19 January). Riders then head to Big White in Canada on 25 January for two more World Cups.