Snowboard Cross


Canada's Éliot Grondin concluded his dominant World Cup Snowboard Cross season by winning back-to-back race victories at the Bataille Royale FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup in front of a hometown Quebec crowd this weekend.

The Sainte-Marie, QC local became the first Canadian male to claim the Snowboard Cross Crystal Globe, presented to him at the end of the weekend by the only other Canadian to do so, mentor Dominique Maltais.

Winning every heat across the entire weekend by a comfortable margin in front of his raucous fans, Grondin finished both days throwing his fists in the air when crossing the finish line in the big final to a mighty roar from the home crowd.

The snowboard world has few superlatives left for Grondin’s remarkable and awe-inspiring performances from what will go down in history as one of the great Snowboard Cross seasons of all time;


Grondins imperious season hit a speedbump in the penultimate round of racing last weekend in Montafon, AUT, where he sustained an ankle injury in the semi finals of the first race of the weekend and ultimately had to sit out Sunday's race, (which remained the only two starts of the season he did not medal), however the Quebecer recovered and was back on his board for course testing on wednesday, determined to close out the season in front of a packed supporter zone of family and friends.

“Winning at home is the best. Winning in Europe is cool but winning here with all my family and friends watching and supporting is amazing,” Grondin said.   

“It probably was one of my best starts, I held it top to bottom. It was probably my best run,” Grondin said. “Today was challenging, the guys were super-fast at the start section, but I had a good plan and knew what to do.”

“I knew I had to find some more speed than yesterday. I made small mistakes today, but I knew what to do to fix them. I went for it and took some risks at the start, was pretty tough and then I knew what line I had to run to get to the bottom in first and it held. I am happy to get the back-to-back win at home in front of everyone,” Grondin said.

“It means a lot. I have been riding well all year and super consistent. Having seven wins in one year is crazy. Now to have the win and the globe at home in front of family, friends and fans is such a great feeling,” Grondin said.

Sunny bluebird condition were a shift from overcast skies from yesterday in the small town of Beaupre, QC, the resort of Mount Sainte Anne was met with high intensity racing and there was no shortage of excitement on the 1.2 kilometer, 38 feature course in front of a passionate Quebec crowd 

On Saturday, It was the hometown hero who led the final from start to finish and won ahead of Cameron Bolton (AUS) and Radek Houser (CZE) in third. Rounding out the Big Final was Canadian Evan Bichon in 4th in what was a career best finish for the Mackenzie native and a first big final appearance after his seventh place acquired in Montafon, Austria, last week.

On the women’s side it was Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes who edged out overall points leader Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) to take the win, and Lea Casta (FRA) who claimed her first career world cup podium.  Australian Josie Baff finished fourth. This victory for Bankes means that she was the only one who could technically deprive Trespeuch of getting his hands on a first Crystal Globe on Sunday. 

Sunday’s race was contested in waves, adding an extra round to the ladders, and despite yet another win for Bankes in a tightly contented final ahead of Michela Moioli (ITA) and Joise Baff (AUS), Trespeuch finished the big finals fourth and in doing so claimed her first career Crystal Globe.

The men also came close to matching the race results of Saturday, Grondin’s 10th career World Cup win came leading from start to finish ahead of Cameron Bolton (AUS), this time the bronze going to Leon Ulbricht (GER) with Jake Vedder (USA) finishing fourth.

"A good start today but I made some small mistake in the semis," Grondin said after his seventh victory in 11 World Cup races this campaign. "I knew what to fix [and] went for [the win].

"I took some risk [at the start of the final], it paid off and I knew what I had to do to get to the bottom [of the course] in first and it held. It's good to get the back-to-back win at home in front of everyone."

Other Canadians to make the ⅛ finals were Liam Moffatt and Colby Graham on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

No Canadian female had managed to qualify for the elimination rounds. Meryeta O’Dine was the best of the group with a 17th place in Friday’s qualification.