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 Ma'lle Ricker, who came up with a big win in the World Championships this season, placed third overall behind Nelly Loccoz ofFrance. 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 - Canada's top racer this year ranking sixth overall in the rankings - 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. Caroline Calv was disappointed, but finished her season ranked third in parallel giant slalom with gold, silver and bronze medals.
"My objective was to do more podium and to qualify in (the) top eight, which I did accomplish," she said. I earned three podiums, one of each colour, and a fourth place. I'm happy to have ended by season with two Crystal medals (awarded for placing top five overall in parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom)."
Toutant, McMorris top Euro X Games
Canadians 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.
McMorris was the defending champion and the favourite going into the competition, but Toutant won the event two years ago and was due for another big win.
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."
The result bodes well for Canada heading into the 2014 Winter Olympics, where slopestyle is now an official sport.
Events continue over the weekend. For more results and video, visit www.xgames.espn.go.com.
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