Nano-seconds separated the men’s banked slalom SB-LL2 podium finishers at the Para snowboard World Cup in La Molina, Spain, on Friday (17 February).
The USA’s Evan Strong managed to squeeze out the win with a best time of 40.02 seconds.
It was a redemptive victory after just missing the banked slalom podium at the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships earlier this month.
Strong held firmly on to his lead in the overall World Cup rankings, holding off Great Britain’s 2017 Worlds silver medallist Owen Pick (40.80) and US teammate Keith Gabel (40.95).
Friday was the first of two banked slalom race days, following snowboard-cross competitions.
The women’s SB-LL2 also featured thrilling results, as the victor would be decided in the last of three runs.
The Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten grabbed her third straight victory in La Molina, locking the win to maintain her position in the World Cup top three.
Spain’s Astrid Fina Paredes set the bar with her first run but could not match Bunschoten’s speed in the last. The Netherlands’ Renske van Beek came in third.
In his final attempt, Italy’s Manuel Pozzerle took first place away from France’s reigning world champion Maxime Montaggioni in the men’s SB-UL.
Although reaching the podium in both snowboard-cross races the last two days, Pozzerle finally stood on top. The USA’s Mike Minor, who came in third, still holds a significant lead in the World Cup rankings.
Banked slalom Worlds bronze medallist Reinhold Schett was dominant in the men’s SB-LL1. The Austrian recorded the top times in all three runs, out-performing Dutch defending world champion Chris Vos who was second. The USA’s ranking’s leader Mark Mann completed the top three.
France’s Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon and the USA’s Peggy Martin collected the maximum World Cup points in the women’s SB-LL1 and SB-UL, respectively.
Racing concludes on Saturday (18 February) with another banked slalom.
Live results are available at World Para Snowboard’s website.
Complete results from the World Cup in La Molina can be found at www.worldparasnowboard.com.