Canadian riders set for Big White World Cup

John Leslie and Michelle Salt will line-up alongside new team members Alex Massie and Daniel Shoemaker. 16 Jan 2015
Michelle Salt, Canada flys by a gate in the first ever Women's Para Snowboarding Cross in the Winter Paralympic Games

Michelle Salt, Canada flys by a gate in the first ever Women's Para Snowboarding Cross in the Winter Paralympic Games


A team of four Canadian para-snowboarders are preparing for banked slalom and snowboard-cross competitions at the IPC Alpine Skiing Para-Snowboard World Cup on home snow in Big White from Saturday (17 January), alongside nearly 40 riders from 11 other countries.

John Leslie is one of the most experienced members of Team Canada, and enters his third home World Cup in a row in the men's SB-LL2.

After making it onto the podium last year, Leslie will compete alongside all three Sochi 2014 men's medallists, the USA's Evan Strong, Mike Shea and Keith Gabel.

Leslie is yet to compete in the new format of snowboard-cross head-to-head which made a successful debut in Aspen, USA, on Tuesday (13 January).

He will also test himself in the event against his newcomer teammate Alex Massie and Finland's 2013-14 World Cup No. 3 Matti Suur-Hamari.

The women's equivalent will see the latest meeting of the Netherlands' Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee, Australia's Joany Badenhorst and US rider Heidi Jo Duce, after all three women finished on the historic podium in the head-to-head in Aspen.

The same quality can be found in the women's SB-LL1, as France's Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon and US teammates Nicole Roundy and Brenna Huckaby continue their warm-up for the 2015 IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain.

Hernandez-Cervellon has won all of her World Cup races so far this season after winning a surprise silver medal in Sochi, and will also meet Canada's Michelle Salt in Big White.

The men's SB-LL1 will feature the USA's Mike Schultz, another winner of all his World Cup races this season. Italy's Giuseppe Comunale, who claimed his first career World Cup podium in Aspen, and Dutch youngster Chris Vos, will try to challenge Schultz.

Great Britain's Ben Moore took the first men's upper-limb impairment head-to-head World Cup title in Aspen and will face Austria's Patrick Mayrhofer, the winner of the first banked slalom World Cup from November.

Canadian Daniel Shoemaker makes his competitive debut in the same race.

Snowboard-cross kicks off on Saturday and the competition continues with banked slalom on Monday (19 January). Results will be available at the para-snowboard website.

La Molina 2015 will feature around 80 riders from 20 countries, competing in men's and women's SB-LL1 and SB-LL2 and upper limb-impaired classifications, from 23-28 February.

Media accreditation is available at the event website.