Reinhold Schett ends snowboard slump

Austrian condemns rival Chris Vos to first defeat of season

Four male snowboarders at the start gate for snowboard-cross The first four-way snowboard-cross races were held at the Pyha World Cup © • Ollie Oilinki

The Pyha World Cup will be remembered as the first four-way snowboard-cross race. But for Austria’s Reinhold Schett, it will be remembered as the event where he ended his winless streak on the final day of competition in Finland.

Schett beat Netherlands’ in-form Chris Vos and USA’s Noah Elliott in the men’s SB-LL1. The victory was the Austrian’s first World Cup win since February 2017.

Although a regular podium contender, the 37-year-old has struggled to overcome the young Dutch talent, succumbing twice to Vos in the banked slalom races a few weeks ago in Landgraaf, Netherlands.

After just missing the podium on day one in Pyha, Schett found his rhythm on Saturday (1 December) to celebrate gold at the site of the 2019 World Championships.

More firsts

Reigning Paralympic champion Simon Patmore was another rider celebrating in Pyha as he claimed his first win of the season.

It was a refreshing feeling for the Australian after three consecutive World Cup second-place finishes. He beat out Italy’s Jacopo Luchini and Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer, respectively, in the men’s SB-UL.

Fever no issue for Finn

Despite waking up ill, Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari continued to push through each run and finished two-for-two on his home course.

Suur-Hamari crossed the line ahead of Canada’s Alex Massie and USA’s Keith Gabel in the men’s SB-LL2 to complete a perfect weekend.

“It was a pretty challenging day,” the 32-year-old Finn said. “I woke up 2 a.m. with a fever and I couldn’t get a good sleep. Still I managed to get in the start gate and I think routines played a big role today.

“So even if I felt pretty sick, I got my job done. And it was a good day even if it was really soft course and challenging conditions. It was changing after every run. I’m pretty stoked about the two gold medals. From this it’s good to continue the season.”

Golden five

The Netherlands’ Lisa Bunschoten pocketed her fifth World Cup gold, finishing ahead of compatriot Anne Garttner and Spain’s Astrid Fina Paredes in the women’s SB-LL2.

Complete results from the Pyha World Cup are available on World Para Snowboard’s website. The next World Cup will be in Big White, Canada, from 4-7 February 2019.