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Maltais wins fourth World Cup crystal globe



Canada's Dominique Maltais secured her fourth career overall snowboardcross title with a win at the World Cup finals in Sierra Nevada, Spain on Thursday, leading from the gates in every single run. Squamish's Maëlle Ricker, who came up with a big win in the World Championships this season, placed third overall behind Nelly Loccoz of France. Whistler's Carle Brenneman placed 20th.

"I stayed focused run after run, trying to go faster and to improve myself," said Maltais. "Not focusing on a particular thing was the key of success today. Yes, the Games are a major event in a career of an athlete, but what I accomplished this season, I'm as proud as if I had an Olympic medal around my neck."

The men's team also had a solid day with Squamish's Rob Fagan making the finals and placing fourth. Jake Holden and Kevin Hill were 11th and 19th, while Chris Robanske had an off day to place 33rd.

Pierre Vaultier of France took the win, followed by Markus Schairer of Austria and Omar Visintin of Italy.

The Canadian alpine team didn't get a chance to race with the parallel giant slalom cancelled due to the harsh weather. However, Caroline Calvé did finish her season ranked third overall with gold, silver and bronze medals.

In slopestyle, Canada's Maxence Parrot was second overall behind Yuuki Kadono of Japan, while Jonathan Versteeg placed fourth behind Britain's Billy Morgan. Charles Reid was 10th, Craig McMorris 17th, Tyler Nicholson 21st and Antoine Truchon 28th.

In halfpipe, Whistler's Mercedes Nicoll placed eighth overall.

Toutant, McMorris top Euro X Games

Canadian snowboarders Mark McMorris and Seb Toutant may as well have been the only riders competing in the Euro X Games slopestyle on Friday morning, finishing with scores of 95.0 and 94.0 respective, while Finland's Peete Piiroinen was a distant third with an 82.00.

Both riders were ecstatic to pick up their hardware after a close competition where both riders pulled out 1260 double-corked variations. Toutant may have had a slight edge on the rails, which gave him a small advantage over McMorris heading into the jumps. Neither rider attempted a triple cork trick, which both landed in big air competitions this year. The one rider who did try, Torstein Horgmo, won the qualifier, but crashed during the competition and injured his right ankle.

"Mark's been killing it this year," said Toutant after the event. "I've known him since I was little and you know he proved himself a lot."

McMorris was equally gracious. "I was stoked for Seb already and he absolutely killed it," he said. "It was my last slopestyle run of the year, contest-wise, and to end it like that I'm happy. That's the way I wanted to ride and whatever happened, happened."


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