World Cup globes at stake for Para snowboarders

The World Cup circuit will reach its climax at the Finals, which will also act as the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event. 09 Mar 2017
The 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships was held in Big White, Canada, between 1-8 February.

The 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships was held in Big White, Canada, between 1-8 February.

ⒸGavin Crawford

The Para snowboard World Cup Finals will gather the top athletes from around the world for their last chance at coveted titles from Friday (10 March) in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Finals will also act as the Test Event for next year’s Paralympic Winter Games, featuring races in both banked slalom and snowboard-cross.

World Cup titles in both events, as well as overall globes, are on offer for the men’s SB-LL1, SB-LL2 and SB-UL; and women’s SB-LL1 and SB-LL2 classes.

Live results, athlete quotes and pictures will be available at this website.

The women’s SB-LL1 is expected to be a tight race between the USA’s Brenna Huckaby and France’s Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon. Only 800 points separate the French leader and the 2017 double-world champion in the overall rankings.

As for the snowboard-cross rankings, both are tied for first, while Hernandez-Cervellon has the slim advantage in the banked slalom.

In the women’s SB-LL2, the Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten is coming off four victories from the penultimate World Cup in La Molina, Spain, putting her in a strong position to secure the overall title. Compatriot Bibian Mentel-Spee – whom Bunschoten finished runner-up to twice at the 2017 World Championships in Big White, Canada – is another strong hope in the class. Spain’s Astrid Fina Paredes and Australia’s Joany Badenhorst are also within touching distance of individual titles in snowboard-cross and banked slalom.

The USA’s Mike Minor has already secured the globe in the men’s snowboard-cross SB-UL thanks to a dominating season. Italy’s Manuel Pozzerle is still within reach in the banked slalom. Only 100 points behind Pozzerle is France’s newly crowned banked slalom world champion Maxime Montaggioni.

Four-time world champion Chris Vos has had a sensational season in the men’s SB-LL1, and the teenager could top it off with another World Cup globe.

But he is chasing the USA’s overall leader Mark Mann, who claimed his first Worlds medal with banked slalom bronze at Big White 2017. Mann claimed three podium finishes from the recent World Cup in La Molina to take a 1,000-point lead ahead of Vos in the race for the coveted globe. As for the individual World Cup titles, Mann has already secured the snowboard-cross. But the banked slalom title is up in the air. Austria’s Reinhold Schett is coming off victories from both banked slalom races at La Molina and could secure the title.

In the men’s SB-LL2, the USA’s Evan Strong is in pole position to add the globe to the silver medal he took from Big White 2017. While he will be tough to catch, Strong will have to fend off 2017 double-world champion in Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari, who is only 300 points behind for the banked slalom World Cup prize.

The Para snowboard World Cup Finals will be held 10-13 March, with the snowboard-cross finals held on Friday (10 March) and banked slalom on Monday (13 March).

World Cup rankings can also be found on World Para Snowboard’s website