Roundy Clinches Snowboard-Cross Globe, Shea Takes Second In Overall World Cup Rankings

By Joe Clarke | March 17, 2016, 5:50 p.m. (ET)


Shea, seen here at the 2014-2015 world cup, finished second in the men's snowboard-cross SB-LL2 overall standings.

TRENTINO, Italy – The drama was high Thursday afternoon in northern Italy as the IPC Snowboard World Cup proved to be full of suspense in the men’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2 finale. Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Matti Suur-Hamari of Finland entered the last stage of the world cup tied atop the overall rankings, but it was Suur-Hamari who emerged victorious to claim the overall globe.  

The Finn topped Shea in the gold-medal race of the first world cup final on Wednesday and went on to beat Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games gold medalist Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii) in the second world cup gold-medal race on Thursday to seal the globe. Shea, the 2014-2015 overall world cup champion, finished third in the second go-round of snowboard-cross, resulting in a second-place finish in the overall world cup rankings. Strong came in third overall for the season while Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) finished fourth in both the overall standings and the event.

Nicole Roundy (Salt Lake City, Utah) was the lone American to win a snowboard-cross globe, even though she was not in attendance for the final leg of the season. Roundy topped the rankings of women’s snowboard-cross SB-LL1 over Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon of France and Canadian Michelle Salt.

Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) had another strong performance in the final edition of women’s SB-LL2 race, earning a spot on the podium with a third-place finish to confirm third place for the overall rankings. The bronze-medal finish proved to be even sweeter for Duce as she beat Joany Badenhorst of Austria, who bested Duce the day before in the bronze-medal final. Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands took gold in the event to claim her seventh victory of the season, having clinched the overall snowboard-cross SB-LL2 globe on Wednesday. Sochi bronze medalist Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nevada) finished fifth overall for the year in her first world cup season since the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Mike Minor (Leadville, Colorado) and James Sides (Santa Monica, California) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the men’s SB-UL race with Patrick Mayrhofer of Austria taking the gold on day two. Minor’s podium finish capped off a tremendous debut season that included a gold at the first world cup of the season in Landgraaf.

Mayrhofer claimed the overall world cup title over Manuel Pozzerle of Italy and Sides, who finished second and third in the rankings.

The first day of action in Trentino produced early success for Team USA as Shea found his way to the podium with a second-place finish in the men’s snowboard-cross SB-LL2 gold-medal final as Suur-Hamari took round one.

Gabel, Strong and Dustin Fleming (Baytown, Texas) all competed in the snowboard-cross quarterfinal on the first day with Gabel taking fifth, Strong sixth and Fleming eighth.

Duce was the only other American to make a final on day one of competition, falling to Badenhorst in the bronze-medal final. Purdy finished sixth.

Minor and Sides came in fifth and eighth, respectively, in the men’s SB-UL during the first day.

The IPC Snowboard World Cup season comes to a close tomorrow, finishing the 2015-2016 year with banked slalom. Once again, Shea and Suur-Hamari will be battling for supremacy as the two enter tomorrow’s banked slalom contest tied for first in banked slalom SB-LL2.

Minor sits at the top of the banked slalom SB-UL standings with Mayrhofer in second.

Other notable world cup rankings results from athletes who were not in attendance include Mike Schultz (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) who took third in men’s snowboard-cross SB-LL1.

For more information on the IPC Snowboarding World Cup and full results, visit Paralympic.org.