Snowboarding News | Tuesday December 18, 2012 | Shared By: Chris Robanske
Getting excited for the race season that was fast approaching, The Canadian SBX team headed to Kaunertal Glacier, Austria for some last minute training. Our First event was being held in the town of Schruns, Austria at the resort Montafon.
Heading to Kaunertal a week before the event was key for us Canadians. We did the final preparation on the equipment as well as cutting the jet lag before the event.
The drive up to the Glacier in Kaunertal was something else. Never have I seen an area with so much potential. Amazing riding...
Next on the list was our first event of the season, Montafon, Austria World Cup Snowboard Cross!
After recovering for a total of 10 months over 2 seasons I was ready and excited for this year. Although challenging conditions and super fast speed on race day brought everyone back to reality. With multiple helicopter evacuations and riders going down almost every run I was out of my element and not feeling 100%.
I qualified in 3rd which surprised me because I watched friend, Maxi Stark from Germany, Fall and break his femur and have to be air lifted out for emergency surgery. Best of luck with the recovery buddy!
Then I think I speak for the majority when I say we were not exactly feeling it for the race. I managed to have some luck for once and finish in 14th. I rode horrible for my comeback and I was not impressed at all.
Montafon decided to hold a "Team Event" And this would be my second appearance to the Team event. We decided that Jake Holden From Caledon, Ontario would lead the charge for Canada 1 followed by my self. Jake rode so well giving me a huge head start in the first round. We won the first heat with room to spare. Feeling confident we headed into semi-finals. Riding well again Jake put me ahead of Italy 1 and right beside Russia 1. Right out of the first turn the Russian caught his edge and going down 2 feet in front of me. I decided to shut it down and not run the kid over. No one needs to get hurt and I had the opportunity to potentially run him over and cause serious injury. With making the decision to not cause injury Jake and I found ourselves in the Small Finals right next to Canada 2, consisting of teammates Kevin Hill and Rob Fagan.
And did we ever have a fun run! Just like in Kaunertal where we had been training, Our run was head to head racing all the way down! Canada 2 managed to squeak ahead and take 5th, while Jake and I on Canada 1 finished in 6th.
Keeping my head up and getting back on track I headed to Telluride, CO, USA for stop number 2 of the World Cup Tour. Beautiful Telluride, COTelluride, Colorado, The home of my first World Cup podium.
Last season I shocked many people including myself with a 2nd place after returning from two compression fractures of the spine.
I really enjoy Telluride, The high, dry altitude and cold Colorado snow just remind me of Alberta. Taking a look at the course this season I instantly felt confident. Managing to ride well again in training I put together a 6th place in qualification.
Achieving another goal of mine (Top 10 every qualification) I went into finals feeling great. David Gagne our Team Canada Wax Tech nailed it once again. Getting the whole shot almost all day I was in a solid position, Then I found my self in the finals, two years in a row at Telluride.
Full Race and Interview video here
Level 10 Fitness putting me in the lead early on With once again challenging early season conditions I pulled out in front and set the draft for Seth Wescott (2 time Olympic Gold), Alex "Chumpy" Pullin (2011 World Champion/Crystal Globe winner) and Stian Sivertzen (2 World Cup Victories).
Snow fall and High winds I got passed as I thought in the long flat top section.
Seth squeezing ahead, Chumpy threading the needle through Stian and I Realizing that I was in the finals and I went from 1st to 4th I tried to pick up some distance and make a pass.
Luckily all the riders in the finals are smart and very talented. Every move is precise and clean. So I planned to set up this inside move on Stian while Seth made a similar move on Chumpy in the same turn.
Tight racing in the finals from start to finish!
It could have been anyone's race! Great work to Seth, Chumpy and Stian. I will always remember this run, as it was one of the best and most fun races I have ever had. Thank you guys for the fun day!
Official Photo Finish It might be 3rd place, But I was first to the podium ;)
Happy to be back once again from injury, And stoked to be back on the World Cup Podium.
This 3rd place result now puts me in 6th over all in World Cup points leading into World Championships in Stoneham, Quebec City.