Snowboarders on pro podiums 

Ricker, Maltais lead snowboardcross field

Canada’s World Cup snowboarders took advantage of the lull in events last weekend to take part in a series of pro events in Colorado — the Chevy U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix at Breckenridge, and the Jeep King of the Mountain contest at Telluride.

At the Breckenridge halfpipe, Brad Martin led the way for the Canadian team with a fourth place finish, just four-tenths of a point behind Tommy Czeschin. Danny Davis and Mas Aguirre were first and second.

Martin nearly landed on the podium with the only 1260 of the day, but lost fractions of a point when he touched his hand to the ground.

Crispin Lipscomb also qualified for the finals, finishing in ninth place overall after a fall in his final run. Canadian coach Tom Huthinson talked to the judges after the contest and learned that Lipscomb could have ranked as high as third without the fall and points deductions.

Meanwhile in the snowboardcross at Telluride, Maëlle Ricker and Dominique Maltais both had solid qualifying runs and early brackets to make the finals, where they finished second and third respectively behind American Lindsay Jacobellis.

“The races were very close,” said Maltais. “I tried to pass (Jacobellis) but I couldn’t get by. We both rode the course really well. Maëlle was in the final with us and she made it a three-rider battle.

“I’m pleased because I felt that I didn’t ride as well as usual in qualifying. So today I told myself to have fun and go for it.”

Last year Maltais tore a ligament in her left knee training for a Jeep series event, and was sidelined until this past September.

On the men’s side, Shawn Palmer won the overall title, followed by three Americans. Drew Neilson and Derek Wintermans were the top Canadians in fifth and sixth.

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