Nick Baumgartner finished third at Sunday’s snowboardcross world cup in La Molina, Spain, earning his first podium finish in a year.
Baumgartner’s last podium came March 6, 2016, in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. Since then, the 35-year-old from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has struggled, breaking the top 15 only once, an 11th-place finish a month ago in Bansko, Bulgaria.
The result showed Baumgartner can still hang with the world’s best, as France’s Pierre Vaultier, the reigning Olympic champion, took the win to move to within 20 points of the top of the world cup rankings. Austria’s Lukas Pachner finished second.
It is the 14th career world cup podium for two-time world championship bronze medalist Baumgartner, whose third place at last year’s Olympic test event in Bokwang, South Korea, is a positive sign in his campaign for a third Olympic team.
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In the women’s competition, three-time Olympian and 10-time X Games gold medalist Lindsey Jacobellis won the small final to finish fifth, matching her placement in the season standings with one race remaining, March 25 in Veysonnaz. Italy’s Michela Moioli took the win to solidify her hold on third in the season rankings, while Eva Samkova of Czech Republic was second to vault past Australia’s Belle Brockhoff into the lead for the crystal globe.
Faye Gulini was ninth among the women and Hagan Kearney 10th for the men.
Next up is the snowboardcross world championships, slated for March 11-12 in Sierra Nevada, Spain.