Mont Tremblants Jasey-Jay Anderson broke out of a slump and won his first and second World Cup snowboard cross gold medals in over two years on Tuesday and Wednesday at Nassrfeld-Hermago Austria.
On the first day he edged out Guillaume Nantermod and Marco Huser from Switzerland. The Swiss riders have been dominating the alpine and snowboard cross this season, and have pulled two podium sweeps already.
"Its a great relief," said Anderson, who is going for his fifth consecutive overall World Cup title, as well as alpine and snowboard cross titles. "My season was going well so far but I was very much looking forward to this victory. I wasnt expecting winning today after finishing eighth in the qualifying on Monday."
After winning the early heats with aggressive starts, Anderson used strategy to take the finals. "The course was very tricky with a large flat section in the top part," he said. "I won due to great starts. This wasnt the kind of course that we could pass others. I took the slower lane so my opponents had to follow in line behind me."
Drew Neilson, Canadas top snowboard cross rider so far this season, had to settle for 11 th place likely because of the flat section and the fact that he is one of the few soft boot racers on the course. Robert Fagan of Cranbrook was 22 nd , Derek Wintermans of Port Coquitlam was 36 th and Vernons Tom Velisek 27 th .
On the second day, Anderson picked up where he left off and didnt look back on his way to a second gold medal.
"It went event better than yesterday since I had a better starting position. I won all my runs today and its been an easy glide," he said.
"Im very happy with this turn of events. Im training so hard that when my great expectations happen, Im happy it works."
The win pushed Anderson back to the top of the overall World Cup standings, although that could change after Fridays parallel giant slalom in Bad Gestein, Austria.
Neilson was 11 th again, Robert Fagan 14 th and Tom Velisek 21 st .
The only Canadian woman in the race was Dominique Maltais from Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Quebec.
Although she was strong in the qualifying rounds on her first day, winning every race, she had to settle for ninth overall after an error in the quarterfinals.
"I slipped on a patch of ice in the quarterfinals," said Maltais. "Im sad because I know Im strong in this event. Ive defeated twice the girl who won today, (including) two weeks ago on the European Cup circuit. I know I can do better and I proved it in qualifying."
She made up for her lapse on the second day, blowing away the competition to claim the first gold medal of her career.
"Im speechless. Im very happy and I was expecting this first victory for so long that I had a feeling it would happen here. I found this run to be fitting my style very well," she said.
In her second run she defeated Doresia Krings of Austria, Carmen Ranigler of Italy and Julie Pomagalski of France.
Pomagalski was glad when Anderson won his second gold.
"I was at the foot of the slope to give interviews, but I was glancing at the track to see Jasey-Jay in the final. I was ecstatic when I saw him finishing first. He was already having World Cup success when I started with this sport so hes been my model. I wanted to become the womens version of J.J. Anderson," she said.