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Anderson dominates SBX, but settles for second

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Farmand skips halfpipe to celebrate German podiums

It was a battle that neither competitor is likely to forget. Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson and Pontus Stahlklor, last year’s FIS World Cup champion, jockeyed for the top spot all day at the Nokia World Cup Snowboardcross competition on Dec. 8.

Stahlkloo won both heats in the round of eight and semi-finals. Then Anderson, who was fastest racer in the qualifier, pulled way ahead in the semi-finals.

Stahlkloo got out of the gates in the final a fraction of a second up on Anderson, then boxed him out at every opportunity he may have had to pass.

"I was riding really well today, and I knew I was going to do well but in the finals it’s anybody’s game," said Anderson.

"Usually it’s the best start that wins, like I did last year in Park City. Here it was less of a start issue, but the advantage definitely was there. This course was definitely built for me. Too bad I couldn’t prove it. Pontus is a good rider and he knew where to keep me off so he took the advantage."

Stahlkloo was excited about the win, and even gave some of the credit to Anderson for pushing him.

"This was a really fast course and especially fit those with hard boots," said Stahlkloo. "Out of the top 15, I was only one of two riders with soft boots, but I managed to win so I’m really happy.

"Usually a good start is 90 per cent of a race and especially with Jasey in the same race that’s essential – he is really fast. So I had to win the start and then try to keep him behind when he wanted to overtake. I’m glad it worked."

Germany’s Sven Unger shocked everyone, himself included, with a third place finish. Two seasons ago he injured his heel at the U.S. Open, and wasn’t given the go ahead to race until the season opener at Tignes, France, where he jumped from 60 th in the qualifier to sixth place overall.

"I really liked the course today since it had a lot of nice banks in perfect shape and you could just get straight from one to the other without losing speed," said Unger.

Fourth place went to Felix Stadler of Austria. The next best Canadian was Whistler’s Jeff Ihaksi. Mathieu Morency finished 11th and Jason Chapman was 15 th .

In the women’s event, nobody was surprised when Germany’s Sandra Farmand, the reigning SBX World Cup champion, dominated the entire finals to earn yet another gold medal.

"You had to be in front today from the very beginning," she said. "The course was really fast so it would have been tough to even try to overtake but I had pretty good starts all day long so it worked alright."

At the finish line, Farmand decided to drop out of the halfpipe to party that night with teammate Sven Unger. "It has been some time that the team had such results."

Second place went to Ursula Fingerlos of Austria, and Marie Laissus of France upset Carmen Ranigler of Italy in the finals to finish third.

The top Canadian woman was Whistler’s Maëlle Ricker, who was fifth. She won this event and the halfpipe at last year’s Blackcomb World Cup.

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