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Four days of excitement and snow at the IPC para-snowboard World Cup in La Molina

News date: 18-02-2017
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Tags: La Molina, IPC World Cup, Para-Snowboard, snowboard-cross, banked slalom

The Catalan rider Astrid Fina has been on the podium in all four races. On Wednesday and on Thursday she was second in the snowboard-cross, on Friday and on Saturday she got the silver in the banked slalom.

With the ski resort season at full capacity, thanks to the numerous snowfalls fell this winter, the event was full of excitement, from Wednesday 15 February to Saturday 18. About 50 riders from 13 participating countries have completed four races: two snowboarding (SBX) and two banked slalom (BS) races held in Alabaus area.


Tight fights on the snow

In men category there has been a tight competition in all categories. In the podiums for Upper Limb the most outstanding have been the Italian Manuel Pozzerle and the American Michael Minor, who has won today. The Italian has also been first on two occasions, a second position today and a 3rd position in the SBX the 16th. The American has also made two firsts, and 3 in SBX on the 15th and BS the 17th. The athlete born in Utah explained that "the organization of the event has done a good job. I have enjoyed the races a lot, it has been good weather and the discipline that I have liked the most was BS".


In the Lower Limb 1 category the most prominent have been the Austrian Reinhold Schett, who has proved to be an absolute BS specialist in winning both days and has been second in both SBX. The other big winner of the week has been the Dutchman Chris Vos, who was second in BS and first and third in the SBX. Schett has agreed with Minor: where he had more fun was in the BS.


The Finnish Matti Suur-Hamari has been the best in Saturday's BS in the Lower Limb 2 category and also prevailed in the competition debut SBX, but because of a crash in Friday's BS he couldn’t get the four golds. The American Evan Strong who won the BS on Friday and Saturday has been second by repeating the SBX rating has shown that he is a true contender for the World Cup circuit, as long as Suur-Hamari allows him. The Finn has commented that "I did not expect to find so much snow in the Pyrenees and I am very happy with the results at La Molina. I am already thinking about the next World Cup in South Korea at Pyeongchang, where next year will host the JJPP'18 ".


In women, the lower participation has made the competition not so strong. However, the Catalan rider Astrid Fina has managed to demonstrate that she is at a very good level and that she has options to face the JJPP of next year. Fina explained that she hopes to "continue improve technical details to get on the top of the podium. If I do it in La Molina the next time I will be happy, since I feel here at home and I highly appreciate the effort of the ski resort for riding these races". The Barcelona rider has today also been second, completing four races with the silver of the category Lower Limb 2. The Dutch Lisa Bunschoten has won all the golds.


La Molina hosting high level international competitions

For several years now, La Molina has opted for high-level competition. Historically it had been associated with grassroots sporting events, hosting lower, Spanish level categories, such as the absolute Spanish Alpine Ski Championships that will be held from 7 to 9 April. But the most important competition, undoubtedly, will be the FIS Snowboard-cross World Cup to be played on Sunday, March 5 in Alabaus. The Basque Lucas Eguibar will be present, who aspires to win the race and will seek to return to the podium of the maximum circuit of this FIS modality.


Lluis Breitfuss, head of Grup FGC competitions, explained that "La Molina helds once again an IPC SBX and BS World Cup, which places it as a classic scenario in the international calendar".


On a weekend full of snow and great weather, Breitfuss is already looking forward to the next event that will host La Molina: the FIS SBX World Cup. He said that "we are very excited, especially considering that la Cerdanya and La Molina have spectacular snow". It proves that it is a step closer to the great Olympic Barcelona-Pyrenees project according to Breitfuss, who has commented that he believes "it is still a good bet, realistic, a dream, since we have consolidated it for 10 or 12 years. We have never failed. I believe Catalunya has shown that it can do great events."


Since the 2007-08 season, however, the resort started hosting higher level international competitions. It started with the World Cup snowboard competition, which was followed by being the first resort in the Pyrenees to host the FIS Alpine Skiing Women's World Cup. In 2011 the FIS Snowboard World Championships were organised and then in 2013, the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.


In 2014, La Molina hosted two IPCA alpine skiing races, two races of the IPCA European Cup, the final of the snowboard-cross IPCA World Cup and a race of the snowboard-cross FIS World Cup. In 2015 it organized the IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships.


Podiums by categories


SB-UL Nationality Time

1. Michael Minor United States 40,45

2. Manuel Pozzerle Italy 41,10

3. Maxime Montaggioni France 41,63

SB-LL1 Nationality Time

1. Reinhold Schett Austria 41,39               

2. Chris Vos Netherland 42,01

3. Mark Mann United States 44,48


SB-LL2  Nationality Time

1. Matti Suur-Hamari Finland 38,90

2. Evan Strong United States 38,92

3. Keith Gabel United States 40,43



SB-UL Nationality Time

1. Peggy Martin United States 46,43 


SB-LL1  Nationality Time

1. Cervell Hernandez France  44,40   


SB-LL2 Nationality Time

1. Lisa Bunschoten Netherland 44,04

2. Astrid Fina Spain 46,95

3. Renske Van Beek Netherland 49,40

Four days of excitement and snow at the IPC para-snowboard World Cup in La Molina
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