Team USA Concludes Strong Showing At IPC Snowboard World Cup Aspen

By Brianna Tammaro | Feb. 06, 2016, 8:29 p.m. (ET)
Mike Schultz celebrates his first gold medal of the 2015-2016 IPC snowboard world cup season in Aspen.

ASPEN, Colo. – Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) was not satisfied with just one gold medal in Aspen. The 2016 X Games champion traded his snowmobile for a snowboard, capturing his first world cup gold of the season in the men’s SB-LL1 on the second and final day of the IPC Snowboard World Cup at Aspen Snowmass.
Led by Schultz and Nicole Roundy (Salt Lake City, Utah), Team USA made seven trips to the podium on the second day of snowboard-cross competition. Schultz faced off in the most exciting race of the day against Austria’s Reinhold Schett, trading leads before a come-from-behind win to advance to the final. His momentum helped him to upset the world champion, Chris Vos, from the Netherlands and seal his first world cup victory in Aspen.
“I’m really excited about how the whole week went,” Schultz said. “My family’s here and I love being in Colorado. It’s almost my second home state between snowmobiles and snowboarding, so having the support here is awesome and makes it that much better.”
The win over Vos was even more significant for Schultz who made his return to the snowboard-cross course after suffering an injury in Aspen at the 2015 X Games.
“[Chris] has been flying these past few days and to beat him on the last day here was pretty awesome because I’ve been finishing second to him since the beginning of the season,” Schultz said. “To finally get this big win is huge. This is my first three days on a snowboard-cross course in a year so I’m pretty pumped about how well I’m doing.”
Roundy struck gold twice in Aspen, cruising to victory in both women’s SB-LL1 snowboard-cross races over U.S. teammate Megan Harmon (Huntsville, Alabama).
Austria’s world champion Patrick Mayrhofer also picked up his second world cup win at Snowmass in the men’s SB-UL class. Italy’s Manuel Pozzerle returned to the silver medal position with U.S. Marine Corps veteran James Sides (Santa Monica, California) taking his first trip to the podium with bronze.
Paralympic and world champion Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands was golden again in the women’s SB-LL2 division. She shared the podium with Dutch teammate Lisa Bunschoten as Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) added a bronze medal to her silver from Friday.
Finland’s world champion Matti Suur-Hamari came off of an X Games win last weekend to reclaim gold from Team USA’s Mike Shea (Castaic, California) in the men’s SB-LL2 class. Shea, a 2014 Paralympic silver medalist, won Friday’s snowboard-cross matchup against Suur-Hamari but encountered trouble after a turbulent turn mid-course. His teammate and Paralympic bronze medalist in Sochi, Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah), also made his return to the podium with bronze after finishing fourth on Friday.
“I’m super stoked to be back on the podium,” Gabel said. “I didn’t race very well yesterday so I just analyzed what I did wrong and came out with a clear head and reset.”
Athletes will travel to the next snowboard world cup in Big White, Canada where they will race in snowboard-cross and banked slalom, Feb. 10-13. For full results from the IPC Snowboard World Cup Aspen, visit the IPC website.