The USA’s Mike Minor continued his winning ways, while compatriot Brenna Huckaby showed she is determined to defend her world title following their victories at the World Para Snowboard World Cup on Thursday (26 January) in Lake Tahoe, California, USA.
Around 46 snowboarders competed in snowboard-cross, testing themselves ahead of the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships less than a week away in Big White, Canada. So far, Minor added to his campaign for World gold in the men’s SB-UL after defeating Great Britain’s James Barnes-Miller in the big final. The 26-year-old remains undefeated this season and maintains his hold atop the overall World Cup rankings.
Italy’s Jacopo Luchini reached the World Para Snowboard podium for the first time after finishing ahead of Great Britain’s Ben Moore, a two-time medallist from the 2015 World Championships in La Molina, Spain.
Two big finals featured an all-USA battle.
Following a second-place finish at the NorAm Cup held Wednesday (25 January), Huckaby redeemed herself in the women’s SB-LL1, ousting teammate and World bronze medallist Nicole Roundy for the win. With the victory, the 21-year-old Huckaby further distanced herself in the overall World Cup rankings from No. 2 Roundy. Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Amy Purdy followed up her NorAm victory from Wednesday – which was also her season debut – with third place on Thursday.
The men’s equivalent was a repeat from Wednesday’s NorAm big final, with Mark Mann beating US teammate Tyler Burdick once again to the finish line. The victory moves Mann closer to the Netherlands’ overall World Cup leader Chris Vos.
Italy’s Giuseppe Comunale took his first podium finish of the season with third place.
There was continued surprise in the men’s SB-LL2 after Japan’s 22-year-old newcomer Gurimu Narita beat the USA’s Evan Strong in the big final for the second straight day, this time in the World Cup level.
Strong, the reigning Worlds silver medallist, still holds onto No. 2 in the overall World Cup standings. His teammate Keith Gabel completed the podium.
Australia’s Joany Badenhorst took the top spot over the USA’s Brittani Coury in the women’s SB-LL2 to remain at No. 3 in the standings, while the USA’s Peggy Martin completed the women’s SB-UL course.
Complete results from day one of the World Cup in Lake Tahoe can be found on World Para Snowboard’s website.
Competition concludes with another set of snowboard-cross races on Friday (27 January).
This will be the last competition before the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships in Big White, Canada, where around 80 athletes from 25 countries compete from 1-8 February.