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Andrew, Carpentier triumphant in Quebec

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After some emergency grooming following a two-day, 75-cm dump, the halfpipe at Mont-Sainte-Anne was in fairly good shape for last weekend’s World Cup, albeit with a little less radius and a little more vert than many of the competitors felt comfortable with.

After the first day, work crews laboured for 24-hours straight to get the pipe in shape for the main competition, and by all accounts they did a great job.

Then the rain came down in buckets.

Putting the metamorphosis of the pipe and the weather conditions aside, it was a great day for Canadian boarders, with Whistler’s Trevor Andrew and Quebec rider Brett Carpentier taking the top two spots.

"They worked really hard to get the pipe in better shape, but it was definitely tough to be in the rain all day, getting cold and then going out when you had to do your run," said Andrew. "I’d say the judges have to stand outside and judge because we have to stand in the rain while they are in a warm tent."

Carpentier, who had taken close to two years off competing before the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, was excited to discover that he still had the right stuff.

"I didn’t have any expectations really," he said. "I just started riding again – it’s only maybe my 10th time on snow after I (took) a break for two years to get motivated when I came back.

"I didn’t care if I was first or 10th as long as I was riding well, so I’m happy with second place, although it would have been great to win."

Finland’s Tuomo Ojala was in the lead after the first run, but dropped to third when Andrew and Carpentier nailed their second runs. Both competitors are now one top-16 World Cup finish away from earning berths in the 2002 Olympics.

None of the Swedes made it to the finals but Magnus Sterner continues to lead in the halfpipe standings, followed closely by Stefan Karlsson and Ojala.

The women’s contest was almost an instant replay of the previous week’s competition at Blackcomb, with Norwegian and Japanese riders jockeying for the top position.

Stine Brun Kjeldaas hung in there to take first place, ahead of Michiyo Hashimoto of Japan for the second week in a row. Yoko Miyake finished third.

"I don’t have problems getting motivated even if it’s raining," said Kjeldaas, who is running away in the halfpipe standings. "I had a lot of fun riding today. The only problem was that we got so wet and a little bit cold, so I got to go down to my hotel room between qualification and the finals and put all the clothes in the dryer so I had dry clothes for the finals again. I was stressing a little bit down there, but worked it out in time."

The top Canadians were Whistler’s Maëlle Ricker in 14 th and Lori Glazier in 16 th . With a 14 th place finish in Quebec and fifth last weekend on Blackcomb, Ricker earned one spot for Canada at the Winter Olympics.

The snowboarders will be on vacation until the first weekend of January, when they will square off in Kreischberg, Austria.

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