Mentel-Spee wins snowboard-cross in comeback

The Dutch world and Paralympic champion secured a poignant victory in the USA on World Cancer Day. 05 Feb 2016
Women on snowboard on the slope

Bibian Mentel-Spee won the women's SB-LL2 snowboard cross gold at the La Molina 2015 Para-Snowboard World Championships on 24 February 2015.

ⒸOriol Molas

The Netherlands’ world and Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee claimed victory at the IPC Snowboard NorAm Cup in Aspen, USA, on Thursday (4 February), on her return to competition following treatment for cancer.

Her win in women’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2 fittingly came on World Cancer Day. At the end of 2015, Mentel-Spee had to restart her fight against the disease which led to the amputation of her lower-right leg in 2002.

The 43-year-old was followed onto the podium by her protégé and compatriot Lisa Bunschoten, 20, whom Mentel-Spee mentors through her own Mentelity Foundation.

The USA’s Heidi Jo Duce was third, after a race for the final podium spot with her teammate and Paralympic medallist Amy Purdy.

Finland’s world champion Matti Suur-Hamari took first after a face-off with Canada’s John Leslie in the men’s SB-LL2 final.

The USA collected another podium in third, courtesy of Paralympic silver medallist Michael Shea, after he won his race against compatriot Zachary Miller.

Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer, the banked slalom world champion in the men’s SB-UL, secured maximum points over Italy’s second place rider Roberto Cavicchi.

Manuel Pozzerle occupied the third place on the podium for Italy after he saw off the USA’s Samoano Matagi.

Full results are available at IPC Snowboard’s calendar and results page.

The IPC Snowboard World Cup will now get underway on Friday (5 February) and Saturday (6 February) with a further two snowboard-cross races.

Updates and pictures will be posted to @IPCSnowboard and