Ricker wins overall snowboard title 

Justin Lamoureux tops World Cup halfpipe standings, Nicoll second

Maëlle Ricker has won almost everything in snowboarding but for the overall title for all disciplines.

Having already won this year's snowboardcross title (and the Olympic gold medal), she was ranked third overall coming into the final World Cup event at La Molina, Spain last weekend.

With a mix of skill and luck she took the overall title with 5,290 points, edging out Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands (5,200 points) and Doris Guenther of Austria (5,110 points).

Ricker placed third in the final snowboardcross of the season on Friday, which helped her cause. She then entered her first World Cup halfpipe in years on Saturday to bring up her point total. The gamble paid off as she placed ninth in that event, earning the 290 FIS points that put her over the top for the overall title.

Meanwhile, Sauerbriej was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the last parallel giant slalom. She placed sixth and earned just 400 points as a result. Sauerbriej would have won the overall with a fourth place finish.

As for Guenther, she placed second to Ekaterina Tudegesheva of Russia in the final dual, struggling in both runs. She earned 800 points for her silver medal, as opposed to the 1,000 points for first place.

"I spent most of my season in the snowboardcross course," said Ricker. "I was rusty and nervous about dropping into a big pipe. I haven't done any pipe training at all, just ridden a couple of times here and there."

Aside from some freeriding in Whistler in November, Ricker says she has spent almost all of her snowboard time in snowboardcross. And it's not over yet with nationals coming up.

As to what the future will bring, Ricker is still working that out. "I love riding snowboardcross and I'm still progressing so I don't want to stop," she said. "I love the lifestyle and the travel. It's great to have nice results from the season, but the process of getting them is what it's all about."

Ricker's bronze medal and crystal globe was only part of Canada Snowboard's success story at La Molina.

In halfpipe, Squamish's Justin Lamoureux finished third overall, his second podium of the season, to jump to first in the final halfpipe standings and win a crystal globe of his own. In addition to his two podium finishes, Lamoureux has two additional top five finishes this year, plus a seventh place result at the Olympic Winter Games.

"The globe is pretty cool," said the 33-year-old veteran. "I had no intentions on trying to get it as my focus this year was the Olympics, but an invite to X-Games brought me to Europe where I decided to do the Italy World Cup - did well there and was in the lead so decided to come to Spain and try to win the globe."

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