The 2021-2022 World Para Snowboard World Cup season came to an end with a two-day competition (11 and 12 February) in Canada’s ski resort Big White.
The overall Crystal Globe winners were crowned in three men’s and women’s categories, as well as in banked slalom and snowboard cross.
Big White, which hosted the World Cup for the first time since 2019, saw two snowboard cross races on Friday and Saturday determine the overall winners.
TUDHOPE CROWNED IN BIG WHITE
Ben Tudhope of Australia secured the overall victory in the men’s SB-LL2, the only category with Crystal Globe winner to be decided at the Big White World Cup.
The 22-year-old Australian won both snowboard cross races in Canada to secure his second overall Crystal Globe award and the first since the 2019/20 season.
Without his biggest rivals Keith Gabel and Evan Strong of the USA, Tudhope stormed to victory on both days to be crowned the overall champion in the snowboard cross as well - while Strong took the Crystal Globe award in the banked slalom.
Tudhope, who picked two World Championships medals in Lillehammer last month, came to Big White in fine form after winning two races at the Klovsjo 2022 World Cup in Sweden in late January.
Italy’s Jacopo Luchini and Canada’s Tyler Turner also took two victories each in the men’s SB-UL and SB-LL1 categories, respectively, in Big White.
The 31-year-old Luchini secured the overall Crystal Globe award in the men’s SB-UL before coming to Canada and used the competition as a preparation for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games starting on 4 March.
He won nine out of 10 World Cup races during the 2021/22 season and snatched the Crystal Globe award in both individual events (banked slalom and snowboard cross). The four-time World Championships medallist became the overall World Cup winner for the first time in his career.
TURNER IN THE FORM OF HIS LIFE
Despite not participating in Big White, Chris Vos of the Netherlands won the overall Crystal Globe in the men’s SB-LL1 category. The Dutch athlete won the award for the record sixth time taking home the banked slalom Crystal Globe as well.
Canada’s Tyler Turner produced another fantastic performance in Big White winning two races to consolidate his place on the top of the men’s SB-LL1 snowboard cross ranking.
With less than a month until his first Paralympic appearance, the man from Calgary is in the form of his life. Turner won two World Cup races in Klovsjo, Sweden, before coming to Big White.
At the start of the year, the Canadian won two golds and one bronze medal at the Lillehammer 2021 World Para Snow Sports Championships.
Brazil’s Andre Barbieri produced the best performance of his World Cup season finishing second and third place, respectively in Big White.
SPECIAL WEEKEND FOR DEJONG
The overall Crystal Globe winners in the women's categories were already confirmed before the last World Cup of the season.
Lisa Bunschoten of the Netherlands dominated the SB-LL2 category for the fourth-straight year and took her fifth overall World Cup trophy. She did not compete in Big White though, and in her absence Lisa Dejong was the star on home snow.
The Canadian snatched two victories to finish with the Crystal Globe in the snowboard cross - with Bunschoten picking the banked slalom Globe.
“I have been blown away by my results this season and for me, keeping it fun and light-hearted is key,” said Dejong, who picked three medals at the World Championships in Lillehammer last month. “I just love snowboarding and being able to showcase that on the big stage is such a blessing.”
During the Big White World Cup, the athlete from Saskatoon was officially announced as part of the Canadian team at Beijing 2022, where she will make her Winter Paralympics debut.
“It feels good to be in such good form before the Games. It is definitely a confidence boost winning double gold in Big White. I have ridden a bunch of different track styles this season and I’m happy to have the experience before Beijing,” Dejong added.
Irati Idiakez Lopez of Spain defended her title in the women’s SB-UL category. Brenna Huckaby of the USA won the first overall Crystal Globe award since the 2017-2018 season in the SB-LL1.
Lopez, the two-time World Championships silver medallist from Lillehammer, also took the Crystal Globe in the banked slalom, while Poland’s Monika Kotzian and USA’s Nicole Raab split the award in the snowboard cross.
Raab triumphed in both races at the Big White World Cup.
Brenna Huckaby added two Crystal Globes in the individual events to her successful World Cup season. Cecile Hernandez of France joined Huckaby as the winner in the women’s SB-LL1 snowboard cross.
Dennae Russell of the USA was the SB-LL1 winner in both races at the Big White World Cup.
Landgraaf (the Netherlands), Pyha (Finland), Hochfuegen (Austria) and Klovsjo (Sweden) hosted the other World Cups this season before Big White wrapped the competition.
Full results from Big White can be found here with the overall World Cup rankings updated on the World Para Snowboard website.
Para snowboarders will now be heading to Beijing for the Paralympic Winter Games taking place from 4 to 13 March.
Snowboard cross finals are scheduled for 7 March (Monday), while the banked slalom finals will take place five days later on 12 March (Saturday).