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Anderson takes fourth world snowboard title



Drew Neilson, Neil Connolly on top of World Cup standings

When all was said and done the point gap that separated Mont Tremblant’s Jasey-Jay Anderson from the rest of the World Cup field was a little too wide for any of his challengers to bridge.

His six medals over the course of the season, as well as solid results in snowboard cross and the alpine disciplines, put the 28-year-old’s final tally at 738 points – 250 points ahead of Dieter Kassnig of Austria, and 332 points ahead of fellow Canuck Drew Neilson.

This was Anderson’s fourth consecutive World Cup snowboard title, and the first time that two Canadians have ranked in the top-three.

"This was a very difficult season, and I guess I deserve the award after working and travelling so much," said Anderson, who was fourth in the final parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom standings and fifth in the snowboard cross standings.

"I started the season off perfectly with two podium results and managed to add four more medals along the way. This is a strong circuit and it means a lot considering the talent of the other riders."

Anderson’s 2004 medal tally includes a gold in snowboard cross, two gold and two silver in the parallel giant slalom, and one silver in the parallel slalom.

Drew Neilson of Vernon, B.C., who divides his time between Vancouver and Whistler, ranked third on the snowboard cross points list as well as third overall. A gold and a bronze in competition over the last month put him over the top.

Also of note for the Canadian team was Neil Connolly’s performance in the Big Air discipline. The 23-year-old Collingwood, Ontario resident won two medals this season and finished in the top-10 four other times to rank second in Big Air and 10 th overall on the World Cup circuit.

Connolly will be in Whistler on April 19 for the Ripzone Snowboard Invitational Big Air, where the World Cup star will challenge the pros for a $10,000 first prize.

Dominique Maltais of Charlevoix, Quebec finished the snowboard cross season in fifth place with a silver, bronze and three fourth-place finishes to her credit. She also ranked 15 th overall on the women’s World Cup circuit.

The overall women’s title went to Julie Pomagalski of France who was third in the parallel slalom and PGS and second in snowboard cross. Lindsey Jacobellis, third in snowboard cross and ninth in halfpipe, was second. Doresia Krings of Austria was third.

The World Cup season wrapped up last weekend at the 2006 Olympic site at Bardonecchia, Italy with snowboard cross, halfpipe, big air and parallel GS competitions.

In the snowboard cross, the women’s event went to Julie Pomagalski of France followed by Line Oestvold of Norway and Susanne Moll of Austria. The top Canadian was Whistler’s Maelle Ricker in 21 st .

The men’s snowboard cross was a French sweep with Xavier Delerue, Guillaume Sachot and Aymerick Mermoz finishing first through third.

Tom Velisek of Nelson and Francois Boivin of Jonquiere, Quebec were 15 th and 16 th .

Sarah Conrad of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was fourth in the women’s halfpipe event behind Torah Jane Bright of Australia, Sophie Rodriguez of France and Soko Yamaoka of Japan. Maelle Ricker was 13 th .

Whistler’s Crispin Lipscomb was sixth in the men’s halfpipe and Hugo Lemay of Beauport, Quebec was 12 th .

Risto Mattila and Toni-Markus Turunen of Finland were first and second and Elijah Teter of the U.S. was third.

Neil Connolly was fifth in the Big Air contest, which moved him into second place in the discipline rankings.

Jukka Eratuli and Risto Mattila of Finland were first and third. Second place went to overall .Big Air champion Simon Ax of Sweden.

The final women’s parallel giant slalom of the season went to Daniela Meuli of Switzerland, followed by Marion Kreiner of Austria and Juli Pomagalski of France. Alexa Loo was the top Canadian in 23 rd .

The final men’s PGS went to Siegfried Grabner of Austria, followed by Mathieu Bozzetto of France and American Christopher Klug. Jasey-Jay Anderson was eliminated in the quarter finals to rank eighth overall.

The Canadian riders are coming home this week to prepare for the Honda Element National Championships at Mont Avilia in St.-Saveur, Quebec from March 25 to 28.

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