World Championships gold medallists continued their winning streak at the Para snowboard World Cup in La Molina, Spain, on Wednesday (15 February).
After bad weather caused a 24 hour delay to the start of competition, athletes finally enjoyed clear skies above the Alabaus course for snowboard-cross.
Finland’s world title holder Matti Suur-Hamari scooped up maximum points in his first World Cup race of the season in cross in the men’s SB-LL2.
In a repeat of the big final at the World Championships in Big White, Canada, just over 10 days ago, Suur-Hamari raced ahead of the USA’s Paralympic champion Evan Strong to claim the win.
Great Britain’s Owen Pick reached his first World Cup podium in second, ahead of Strong’s Paralympic bronze medallist teammate Keith Gabel.
In the women’s SB-LL2, the Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten added her name to the World Cup top three. The Dutch snowboarder edged Spain’s Astrid Fina Paredes into second. The Spaniard will however be delighted with her first podium at this level.
The Netherlands’ Renske van Beeke was third.
Chris Vos rounded off a good day for the Dutch after successfully taking on Austria’s Reinhold Schett in the men’s SB-LL1 big final. The 18-year-old crossed the line in first as he had done in Big White against the Austrian to claim gold.
The USA’s Worlds bronze medallist Mark Mann once again showed his ability to race with the best in the world, securing his latest World Cup points in his debut season with third place.
France’s Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon collected the win in the women’s SB-LL1.
US snowboard cross world champion Mike Minor faced Italy’s Manuel Pozzerle in the big final of the men’s SB-UL.
Speeding to victory, Minor strengthened his position as the world No.1. But Pozzerle’s second place registers his maiden points of the season ahead of Thursday’s second edition.
France’ Maxime Montaggioni, the silver medallist from Big White 2017, finished third.
Peggy Martin joined a clutch of US riders to reach the top three with her first place in the women’s SB-UL.
Racing continues on Thursday with a second snowboard-cross World Cup race, before two banked slalom races on Friday and Saturday (18-19 February).
Live results are available at World Para Snowboard's website.