By Andrew Mitchell
It was a bruised and battered Canadian halfpipe team that took to the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary this past weekend, hosting a pair of World Cup events.
The team just returned to Canada after competing at events in Japan and Korea. Both Crispin Lipscomb and Dan Raymond were sidelined with injuries, the fallout from a pot-holed pipe in Japan, and only Jeff Batchelor was 100 per cent for the next contest in Korea.
On the first day of competition, three Canadians qualified for the finals, with Brad Martin placing seventh, Justin Lamoureux ninth, and Jeff Batchelor 12 th . Martin and Lamoureux both train out of Whistler, along with Lipscomb and Raymond.
Japan’s Ryoh Aono and Kohhei Kudoh took the gold and silver medals, followed by Rolf Feldmann of Switzerland.
On the women’s side, Sarah Conrad was the top Canadian, in fifth place, while Mercedes Nicoll and Dominique Vallée finished just outside in 11 th and 13 th respectively. Maëlle Ricker, who has been focusing more on snowboardcross this season, managed to finish 16 th . All three girls live and train in the Sea to Sky corridor.
On the second day Brad Martin kept his runs clean to move up to third place and his second World Cup medal of the season. Three other Canadian athletes also finished in the top eight, with rookie Brendan Davis fifth, Jeff Batchelor sixth, and Justin Lamoureux eighth.
Ryoh Aono repeated his gold medal of the previous day, while U.S. rider Dylan Bidez picked up the silver.
Sarah Conrad placed in the top-10 once again, finish seventh. She was followed by Dominique Vallée in eighth, Mercedes Nicoll in ninth, Maëlle Ricker in 14 th , and Kati Tsuyuki in 17 th .
The North American tour moves on to Lake Placid this weekend for a pair of snowboardcross races and another halfpipe.