March 11, 2014, Montréal (ISN) – Dominique Maltais won her second victory of the season at the World Cup on Tuesday, thus securing her fifth Crystal Globe in snowboard cross, her fourth in a row. British Columbian Christopher Robanske also distinguished himself in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, taking third in the men’s race.
“I can’t stop smiling. The finals was a challenge, the girls performed really well,” said Maltais, pleased with her victory and her title as World Champion. “My goal was to win so I would get the Crystal Globe today (Tuesday). I’m really happy to have met this challenge.”
The Sochi silver medalist was also happy to reconnect with the competition. “Coming back from the Games, I was training at home, but it felt as though I wasn’t as motivated. However, I am so in love with my sport that from the very start of training (in Veysonnaz) I was really happy to be here.”
Maltais fit right in to the Swiss community. Taking first in Monday’s qualifier, she performed well in the quarter and semi-finals before beating out Moenne Loccoz from France and Alexandra Jekova from Bulgaria in the final.
“I had a good start in the final. I was aggressive, I was really going for the win. From a technical standpoint, my performance was perfect. I am supported by a great team that made sure I had fast boards all day. The combination of all that made the difference.”
Second qualifier and Sochi gold medalist Eva Samkova from Czech Republic fell hard in training before the final rounds and was taken to hospital by helicopter.
As expected, American Lindsey Jacobellis was among the six finalists. However, the X Games gold medalist was forced to settle for sixth place.
The other Canadian contenders were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Michelle Brodeur from Alberta, Carle Brenneman and Tess Critchlow from British Columbia and Zoe Bergermann from Ontario placed, in order, 16th, 17th, 18th and 23rd.
A seasoned champion
After winning both events in Vallnord-Arcalis, Andorra, in January, Maltais finished second in the three other races held so far.
“I’m performing really well from a technical standpoint. I never thought I would reach this level. On the other hand, I’ve put so much time and effort into improving in every aspect of my sport that it’s not surprising,” said Maltais.
The resident of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François has solidified her position at the top of the World Cup rankings for her specialty as a victory earns the winner 1000 points and she currently holds a 1440 point lead over Jacobellis, in second place.
It is therefore with a light heart that the Olympic silver medalist will take part in the last snowboard cross event of the season this weekend in La Molina, Spain.
Saturday, after the finals, Maltais will receive her fifth Crystal Globe, adding to those from 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013. It may, however, be the most satisfying of the five.
“(In 2013-2014), I knew the other contenders would be even better prepared. Despite that, I had an amazing season. I’m obviously very happy.”
A good finish for Robanske
As for Christopher Robanske, he did well on Tuesday. Second in his heat in the 1/8 finals, he prevailed in the quarter-final and again finished second in the semi-final.
The athlete from North Vancouver saw Fabio Cordi from Italy savour his first victory on the White Circus after the grand final. Anton Lindfors from Finland placed second.
British Columbia’s Kevin Hill finished 6th in the small final and 12th overall. Baptiste Brochu from the Saguenay, Jake Holden from Ontario and Robert Fagan, also from British Columbia, were eliminated in the eighth-finals and took, in order, 35th, 41st and 45th place.
Despite coming in seventh, Omar Visintin from Italy remains at the top of the World Cup rankings. Robanske currently sits in fourth place, behind by 1166 points.