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Snowboarders strong in World Cup debut

Two women in top-15

The Canadian Snowboard Team’s alpine racers got off to a strong start in Soelden, Austria last weekend in an icy parallel giant slalom.

For the men’s team, 29 year old Jaysey Jay Anderson of Mont Tremblant, Quebec, the overall World Cup champion for the past four years running, put in another strong performance to finish the day in fifth.

"It’s the first giant slalom of the season so I’m happy," said Anderson. "I could have done better but I’m satisfied with this result. It was different for us to have the women going on one day and the men on the other so the organizers had a ‘B’ final for competitors ranked fifth to eighth and I won that race."

Anderson also edged out Austria’s Siegfried Grabner in the process, the World Cup parallel slalom champion.

The only other Canadian to finish in the top-30 was Philippe Berube of Pierrefonds, Quebec in 18 th place.

The first three spots went to Swiss riders Phillip Schoch, Jacquet Gilles and Urs Eiselin.

The real surprise for the Canadian team was the strong performance of the women. Last season the top girls only managed to make a few individual top-10 and top-15 results over the course of the season, but if the races at Soelden are any indication the team has improved.

Alexa Loo of Richmond and Whistler and Aimee Newton of Kamloops were 14 th and 15 th respectively, a first in any women’s alpine snowboarding event. Constance Boisvert of Quebec finished 29 th , giving the Canadians three spots in the top-30.

"It’s an average result, considering the circumstances," said Newton, who raced for the first time since being sidelined with a knee injury in February.

"I was leading in the first round of the race and I should have won, but I had trouble in the end where I probably lost a few tenths of a second."

The top three women were Doresia Krings of Austria, Ursula Bruhin of Switzerland and Julie Pomagalski of France.

The next World Cup alpine events take place this weekend at an indoor facility in the Netherlands.