Minor completes stellar debut season with banked slalom globe

By Joe Clarke | March 18, 2016, 6:53 p.m. (ET)

Mike Minor, seen here competing during the 2015-2016 season, made an impact in his rookie season of the IPC Snowboard World Cup in banked slalom.

TRENTINO, Italy – Mike Minor (Waymart, Pennsylvania) ended his rookie season of the IPC Snowboard World Cup in spectacular fashion Friday afternoon by capturing the crystal globe in the men’s banked slalom SB-UL in Trentino, Italy. Minor became the second American to win a globe this year after Nicole Roundy (Salt Lake City, Utah) topped the overall rankings in women’s snowboard-cross SB-LL1 yesterday. Team USA also won the Nations Cup, solidifying its spot as the top overall country in the IPC Snowboard World Cup.

Minor entered the final day of the 2015-2016 world cup season atop the overall banked slalom standings with Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer in second. While Mayrhofer posted the best time of the day (57.00), Minor’s second-place time of 59.43 sealed the overall victory. Fellow American James Sides (Santa Monica, California) finished eighth for the day and seventh in the overall banked slalom SB-UL rankings.

“This course was my canvas and I painted it how I wanted,” Minor said.

Minor’s remarkable season included banked slalom first-place finishes in Landgraaf, Netherlands and Big White, British Columbia as well as a snowboard-cross win in Les Angles, France.

The final day of competition continued with men’s banked slalom SB-LL2 where Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii) came in first with a time of 54.58, edging Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari (54.62). U.S. teammates Mike Shea (Castaic, California) and Keith Gabel (Ogden, Utah) took third and fourth, respectively. Shea and Suur-Hamari were tied heading into the last day, but the Finn’s second-place effort sealed his second globe of the season. Shea finished second in the overall rankings for banked slalom SB-LL2 with Strong in third and Gabel in fourth.

The women’s edition of banked slalom featured U.S. riders Heidi Jo Duce (Ouray, Colorado) and Amy Purdy (Las Vegas, Nevada) competing in women’s SB-LL2. Duce finished as the top American with a fourth-place time of 1:08.11, while Purdy came in sixth at 1:13.27. The results slotted Duce into fourth place in the overall banked slalom SB-LL2 standings with Purdy finishing seventh in her first world cup season since the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

While the world cup season comes to a close, the last stop for the U.S. team comes on home soil with the 2016 U.S. Paralympics Snowboard Nationals in Copper Mountain, Colorado held March 27-28.

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