Dutch and US snowboarders came out strong at the opening IPC Snowboard Europa Cup in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, on Wednesday (16 November), securing two wins each in banked slalom.
The Netherlands’ Chris Vos, 18, claimed his first win of the season in the men’s SB-LL1, demonstrating why once again he is the athlete to watch.
Vos, the banked slalom world champion, posted two leading runs to finish ahead of Austria’s Reinhold Schett.
Schett secured second after shaving around three seconds off the time from his first run.
The USA’s Mark Mann finished third, impressing on his Europa Cup debut.
In the women’s SB-LL1, the USA’s Brenna Huckaby triumphed over French world champion Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon.
Huckaby posted leading times on both her runs, but Hernandez-Cervellon only needed one good run for second.
Huckaby’s teammate Nicole Roundy completed the podium in third.
Bibian Mentel-Spee secured the second win for the Dutch at home in the women’s SB-LL2.
The world champion, and snowboard-cross Paralympic gold medallist, made light work of the slope. Her compatriot Lisa Bunschoten was second. Australia’s Worlds silver medallist Joany Badenhorst sealed third place on her second run.
Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari stepped onto the top of the men’s SB-LL2 podium, leading two US riders.
Suur-Hamari, a bronze medallist from the 2015 World Championships, just pipped Evan Strong to the win. Mike Shea, the world title holder, finished third.
In the men’s SB-UL, the USA’s Mike Minor claimed his first Landgraaf victory as he works towards a potential World Championships debut in Big White, Canada, in February.
Austrian world champion Patrick Mayrhofer was second, just 0.26 seconds behind with his best run.
France’s Maxime Montaggioni claimed his first career Europa Cup podium with third.
Poland’s Monika Kotzian was the victor in the women’s SB-UL.
Full results are available at IPC Snowboard’s website.
The first World Cup races of the 2016-17 season get underway in Landgraaf on Thursday (17 November) and Friday (18 November). They will be another good indication of athletes’ form ahead of the Big White 2017 World Para Snowboard World Championships.
Chris Vos is doing an Instagram takeover from Landgraaf with exclusive behind the scenes coverage on @parasnowboard.