(Photo: Jaysson Gallant)
Bataille Royale FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup presented by Toyota & Swatch
March 26, 2023 – Mont Sainte-Anne, QC – Energized riders and fans gathered at Mont Sainte Anne resort for the final world cup race for the 2022/23 calendar on day two of the Bataille Royale FIS Snowboard World Cup presented by Toyota and Swatch. It was the last opportunity for the world class field to advance their FIS ranking and battle it out for the coveted crystal globe trophy.
Overnight snow and overcast skies was a shift from yesterday’s sunny bluebird conditions, but the additional snow was no match for the wax technicians and the maintenance crew. With a crystal globe on the line, it was apparent there was nothing that was going to slow these riders down. High octane racing and millimeter tight positioning ruled the day, requiring some detective work and fancy camera equipment to determine the leaders. Charged crowds and adrenaline fuelled riders anxiously awaited for each photo finish in review, keeping everyone on their toes in anticipation.
Yesterday’s Gold Medallist and local hometown hero Eliot Grondin (CAN) was paired against two-time World Cup Medallist Jake Vedder (USA), nine-time World Cup Medallist Martin Noerl (GER) and seventeen-time World Cup Medallist Lukas Eguibar (ESP) in the start gate for the big final. Grondin managed the holeshot in the start section, and took the early lead through the technical “click-clack” zone riddled with rollers and gaps. As they made their way through the course, it was heavy hitter Noerl from Germany in P3 and Vedder (USA) in P4 who powered their way to advance to medal territory in an intense photo finish. Noerl of Germany won by a hair and claimed the gold, Vedder (USA) in silver, and Grondin (CAN) with bronze.
The women's big final was a battle between thirty-one-time World Cup Medallist Eva Adamczykova (CZE), thirty-five-time World Cup Medallist Chloe Trespeuch (FRA), one-time World Cup Medallist Pia Zerkhold (AUT) and three-time World Cup Medallist Josie Baff (AUS). It was Adamczykova who led the way initially through the start section but it was Baff who captured the lead on the first berm and managed to hang on taking victory. In silver it was Zerkhold of Austria and in bronze Trespeuch of France.
Martin Noerl (GER) who claimed victory today was the FIS Snowboard Cross Overall winner and was awarded the Crystal Globe. Canada’s Eliot Grondin, was 3rd overall for the 2022/23 season. On the women’s side it was Charlotte Bankes (GBR) who won gold yesterday and placed 5th in today's event to receive the crystal globe as the 2022/23 leader on the FIS World Cup circuit.
Canadian Rider Highlights
Evan Bichon (CAN) from Mackenzie, BC finished today in 13th. Liam Moffatt (CAN) from Truro, Nova Scotia ended the day in 17th. Colby Graham (CAN) from Prince George, BC walked away in 25th.