“Nothing like a photo finish against your best bud in the big final!”
Austria’s Reinhold Schett and the USA’s Mike Shea topped the IPC Snowboard World Cup podium on Thursday (11 February), triumphing over reigning world champions in snowboard-cross in Big White, Canada.
Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games silver medallist Shea went right to the line with bronze medallist teammate Keith Gabel in an exhilarating big final of the men’s SB-LL2.
“Nothing like a photo finish against your best bud in the big final!” Shea wrote on Instagram. “Three position changes and a drag race through the finish to end the SBX World Cups here in Big White, Canada. Congrats to my dude Keith Gabel for the silver. You earned it today and gave me one hell of a race. I’m still buzzing off the adrenaline rush!
“Also a big shout-out for fastest qualifier on this course Matti Suur-Hamari for the bronze.”
Finland’s world champion Suur-Hamari raced Canada’s John Leslie for the final place on the podium.
In the women’s SB-LL2, Dutch Worlds gold medallist Bibian Mentel-Spee repeated her result from the first World Cup race on Wednesday (10 February) with her latest first place.
Mentel-Spee’s compatriot Lisa Bunschoten lost out to her mentor in the race for victory, taking second at Telus Park.
The USA’s World Championships silver medallist Heidi Jo Duce completed the top three after winning her small final against Australia’s Joany Badenhorst.
In the men’s SB-UL, Schett claimed his first World Cup victory over Dutch world champion Chris Vos.
Schett has been threatening the No. 1 spot ever since making his debut in Landgraaf, the Netherlands in November 2015. US rider Mike Schultz finished third.
Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer doubled up on World Cup wins in the men’s SB-LL1, after also securing maximum points on Wednesday. Australia’s Simon Patmore made it onto the podium once again in second, to replicate his result from the previous day on his World Cup debut.
Italian world champion Manuel Pozzerle managed third after facing the USA’s James Sides in the small final.
France’s Sochi 2014 silver medallist Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon was another rider to continue her 100 per cent win record from Big White in the women’s SB-LL1.
The USA’s Nicole Roundy lost out to the Frenchwoman in the race for first, taking second place. Michelle Salt represented the hosts well once again, securing third over the USA’s Megan Harmon in the small final.
Full results are available at the IPC Snowboard's website.
A IPC Snowboard NorAm Cup in banked slalom will take place on Friday (12 February), swiftly followed by a World Cup in banked slalom on Saturday (13 February).
The next snowboard-cross World Cup will take place in Les Angles, France, on 9 March.