Even if he didn't manage to reach the podium, Éliot Grondin finally made it back to the final today at the Veysonnaz Snowboard Cross World Cup in Switzerland.
In second place in his three elimination rounds, the snowboarder from Sainte-Marie de Beauce was confident when he showed up in the starting gate of the grand finale , but a collision in the first corner cut short his aspirations for a podium or even victory.
“It feels good to be back in the final, but it's disappointing to finish in 4th place, summarized the double Olympic medalist from the Beijing Games who had not reached the final round since the World Cup of Two Alps in December. I had a good start and I was fast, but a collision slowed me down.”
First after the first corner, Grondin came up against the Italian Lorenzo Sommariva, eventual medalist. 'money. “The Italian put his hands behind my back and pushed me to the net,” he said. I managed to stay upright I don't know how, but I lost a lot of speed. I'm just glad I finished the race in one piece.”
Grondin believed that the Italian should have been penalized, but the officials decided otherwise. “In my opinion, he pushed me too much, but the decision is up to the officials. It also depended on who you were talking to and the angle from which you saw the collision. If he hadn't hooked me, I think I could have kept the lead all the way down, but we'll never know.”
Grondin and the Canadian team will be back home on Saturday for the last World Cup of the season, which will be presented at Mont Sainte-Anne from March 24 to 26. The Beauceron will not be asked to return home.
“It's been a long time since we left and it will be cool to sleep in my bed a few nights before the competitions, he underlined. I want to end a fairly difficult season on a high note. I have a new board and it takes time to adjust. I was not fast last week in Spain, but I had good speed this time. I've been coming back strong for a few races and it bodes well for the World Cup at home where my whole family will be present for the first time.”
An 8th place for Audrey McManiman
For her part, Audrey McManiman finished in 8th place, she who was in 3rd place after qualifying. “I already saw myself in the grand final, she said. I was confident and I knew my board was sliding well. I achieved my best qualification, but maybe it came with a little stress that I'm not used to.”