Australia’s Simon Patmore and Canada’s Andrew Genge claimed the first IPC Snowboard World Cup podiums of their careers on Wednesday (10 February), in the men’s snowboard-cross SB-UL in Big White, Canada.
Patmore, a 2010 Commonwealth Games champion in athletics in the men’s 100m T46, qualified to take on Austria’s 2014-15 World Cup champion Patrick Mayrhofer in the final head-to-head.
Despite losing out to the Austrian and finishing second, Patmore was beaming with pride as his teammates took to social media to celebrate his podium finish in his first snowboard-cross race.
Canada’s Andrew Genge was equally as satisfied with his third place finish, beating Italian world champion Manuel Pozzerle in the small final on his World Cup debut.
“I’m so excited about this! My first ever World Cup and I won a medal,” Genge said. “Amazing. It was always my goal to get on the podium, and I got on the podium and then this? Yeah!
“It was great, except the start section. I couldn’t get over that jump when racing people but the rest of it was good. It was all smooth.”
Dutch world champion Chris Vos, 17, was back to his winning ways in the men’s SB-LL1, after sitting-out the NorAm Cup on Tuesday (9 February).
Austria’s Reinhold Schett, a newcomer for 2014-15, was second ahead of the USA’s Mike Schultz in third.
France’s Paralympic silver medallist Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon won the women’s SB-LL1, her first World Cup snowboard-cross victory of the season.
“I’m very happy because I enjoyed the race,” Hernandez-Cervellon said. “The snow today was hard and difficult to ride but it’s very cool. I enjoyed because it’s technical, but it’s long for my legs. But it’s cool, I’m happy.”
Speaking of the growth of para-snowboard, particularly in France, Hernandez-Cervellon said: “We try to attract people, girls, but in France there are many guys. I hope we can attract some girls. That’s why I promote para-snowboard on my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram because we need many more snowboarders.”
Michelle Salt claimed another podium place for Canada with second. The USA’s Nicole Roundy won her final against teammate Megan Harmon for third.
Finnish World champion Matti Suur-Hamari was delighted with winning his men’s SB-LL2 race after pipping the USA’s Paralympic champion Evan Strong to the line in the big final. Mike Shea doubled up on podium places for the US in third.
Suur-Hamari could not contain his excitement on Instagram: “What a day!! Great racing throughout the day and I'm so #stoked to come out with a #worldcup gold medal!!! Course was just awesome and we had tight race in every heat! I wanna congratulate my friends @evan_strong for 2nd and @sheastagram13 for 3rd.”
The Fin also recognised the skills of Australian 16-year-old Ben Tudhope, who just lost out to Shea in the race for third.
“Also wanna send huge congrats to @bentudhope who was nailing heat after heat but just missed the podium by half a board length in the small final,” Suur-Hamari continued. “Impressive riding man! Now a quick recovery because tomorrow we’re racing again here.”
The Netherlands’ world champion Bibian Mentel-Spee claimed her latest World Cup victory in the women’s SB-LL2 after her return to competition in Aspen, USA, last week.
Mentel-Spee took on protégé and compatriot Lisa Bunschoten in the final, leaving her with second place.
US Worlds silver medallist Heidi Jo Duce raced Australia’s Joany Badenhorst, securing third.
Full results are available at the IPC Snowboard's website.
There will be a second snowboard-cross World Cup on Thursday (11 February), ahead of a banked slalom NorAm Cup on Friday (12 February). Racing will conclude with a World Cup in banked slalom on Saturday (13 February).