Three-time Olympian Belle Brockhoff has finished with a gold and silver medal at the European Cup snowboard cross event in Colere, Italy, as she prepared for the next rounds of World Cup competition. The NSWIS rider now has five career European Cup medals.
Joining Brockhoff on the podium was NSWIS teammate James Johnstone, who finished in second place on day two for his first ever European Cup medal.
Next weekend another double European Cup event will take place in Grasgehren, Germany, with events on February 24 and 25.
Women's Snowboard Cross Day One
1st - Belle Brockhoff
11th - Maya Billingham
Men's Snowboard Cross Day Two
11th - Angus Jones
19th - James Johnstone
25th - Kobi Dent
31st - Cameron Turner
33rd - Declan Dent
44th - William McCarthy
47th - Max Vardy
51st - Robert Jones
58th - Angus Young
64th - David McLean
Women's Snowboard Cross Day Two
2nd - Belle Brockhoff
15th - Maya Billingham
Men's Snowboard Cross Day Two
2nd - James Johnstone
15th - Declan Dent
16th - Cameron Turner
18th - Kobi Dent
25th - Angus Jones
29th - William McCarthy
30th - Angus Young
37th - Max Vardy
58th - Robert Jones
66th - David McLean
At the snowboard cross event in Cervinia, Italy, Australia took three medals for the first time in any single wintersport competition, with Adam Lambert just falling short in a photo finish for first place, and earning a silver medal in the men’s event. Minutes earlier, Belle Brockhoff and Josie Baff were on the women’s podium together in second and third place.
In the women’s contest Brockhoff and Baff were drawn on the same side of the draw from the quarter-final stage, and managed to advance through each round to both make it to the big final.
With six riders in heats at the Italian event, the racing was close in the final, Brockhoff made a strong start, but Baff fell behind and then worked her way back to be in contention for the podium. Swiss rider Sina Siegenthaler made the passing move to the finish the line in first place just ahead of Brockhoff in second who was 0.07 second behind, Baff was next across the line in third.
In the men’s final Adam Labert raced to the third medal of his career, and was unlucky not to get the win after a photo finish showed he was behind by just two centimetres. Alessandro Haemmerle from Austria finished in front to claim the win , and Eliot Grondin of Canada was just behind Lambert in in third.
“The whole day has been crazy, and to top it off with a podium is so epic, it was so close to a gold,” said the 26-year-old Lambert from Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains.
Also competing for Australia in Cervinia were Cameron Bolton who made it through to the small final for the second time this season in eighth, Declen Dent 30th, Jarryd Hughes 46th, Kobi Dent 48th and James Johnston 59th.
In the women's event Amber Essesx and Mia Clift were 15th and 16th, giving them personal best World Cup finishes.
Australia’s female wintersport athletes have made it a four medal weekend to open the World Cup season, with aerial skier Danielle Scott claiming a silver medal in Ruka, Finland, and snowboard cross rider Belle Brockhoff finishing with a bronze in Les Deux Alpes, France, overnight.
Earlier in the weekend mogul skier Jakara Anthony took gold in Ruka and Tess Coady silver in the snowboard big air in Beijing, China.
In the French Alps Belle Brockhoff had her first podium result in almost two years, with a bronze medal performance at the snowboard cross World Cup in Les Deux Alpes.
Brockhoff qualified for finals in third place, and won her quarter-final round to advance to the semi-final, where she was matched up against teammate Josie Baff. In the semi-final, Brockhoff again was the first across the line with Baff just missing out on advancing to the big final and medal round in third place.
In the final Brockhoff made a good start, but was unable to pass Chloe Trespeuch of France who took the win. Italian rider and 2018 Olympic Champion Michela Moioli was in second and Brockhoff third, registering the 15th World Cup podium of her career.
Baff finished third in the small final to decide places five to eight, giving her a final ranking of seventh.
“It feels great, it was actually a massive relief for me, I have trained so many new things this year like bindings, boards, coach, tech, just everything, just took a risk to change it up and it’s a big relief that its’ working for me so I am very excited,” said the 30-year-old Brockhoff from Melbourne.
“In the final we all went in pretty hot fighting for that number one position, turn four is really tight and Jana (Fischer) and I got close to each other and just made the best of what we had and it was a really good day for all of us.”
In the men’s event Cam Bolton followed up his good form from the team event on the previous day to finish in fifth place after winning the small final, with Jarryd Hughes 15th in his first World Cup event since the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in February 2022.
Also in action for Australia missing out on finals racing were Amber Essex in 17th in her World Cup debut, Mia Clift 19th, James Johnstone 60th on debut, Declan Dent in 62nd and Adam Lambert 63rd.
Next up for snowboard cross is the final World Cup before Christmas with a double event scheduled to take place in Cervinia, Italy, on December 16-17.
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