Alex Massie lands big win in Big White

Canadian captures first World Cup gold on home snow

four male Para snowboarders racing on the snow with Alex Massie on the right Alex Massie (far right) stormed through the four-way race to take his debut World Cup gold © • Big White 2019/Andrew Jay

Alex Massie’s golden breakthrough was a perfect fit as the Canadian celebrated a home win on the final day (7 February) of the World Para Snowboard World Cup in Big White.

In his most consistent season, Massie has reached the World Cup podium five times. But Thursday’s result was his first gold on the circuit, and perhaps first big win since taking up the sport in late 2014.

The 23-year-old won the men’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2, a four-way race where USA’s Zach Miller and Keith Gabel finished second and third, respectively.

Massie had finished runner-up twice in the 2018-19 circuit, including on the first day of Big White action. His home victory sets him up well with one more World Cup to go before March’s World Championships in Pyha, Finland.

Magnificent Maxime

France’s Maxime Montaggioni made the most of his season debut by sweeping both men’s SB-UL events. In his first competition since injury at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, Montaggioni beat Australia’s Sean Pollard to the finish line to add a second gold to his win on Tuesday. Italy’s Jacopo Luchini came in third in the four-man race.

In the men’s SB-LL2 category, USA’s Mike Schultz made up for his bronze medal from day one with the gold on Thursday. In a head-to-head race with Austria’s Reinhold Schett, the reigning Paralympic champion secured his second World Cup victory in snowboard-cross.

Brenna is back

The USA also celebrated a win from Brenna Huckaby in the women’s SB-LL1.

The reigning Paralympic and world champion beat her French rival Cecile Hernandez in a head-to-head race. The duo raced against each other on the opening day of the Big White World Cup, with Hernandez upsetting Huckaby in her season debut.

But Thursday’s result showed the women’s 2019 world title will be an interesting duel between two heavyweights.

The Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten also made up for her third-place finish from Tuesday’s race. She returned to the top of the women’s SB-LL2 podium, defeating compatriot Renske van Beek in the big final. The USA’s Coury Brittani took bronze.

Full results from the Big White World Cup are available on World Para Snowboard’s website.

Next up is the World Cup from 4-8 March in La Molina, Spain. It will be the last event before the 2019 World Championships from 26-31 March.