Huckaby, Minor Shine With Gold At Snowboard World Cup Opener

By Brianna Tammaro | Nov. 18, 2016, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Evan StrongBrenna Huckaby returned to the world cup circuit triumphantly after taking a year off, winning double gold in banked slalom at the 2016-17 IPC Snowboard world cup season opener in Landgraaf, Netherlands from Nov. 17-18.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Team USA’s brightest young stars wasted no time rising to the top of the international field at the opening IPC Snowboard World Cup in Landgraaf, Netherlands. Mike Minor (Waymart, Pennsylvania) and Brenna Huckaby (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) posted back-to-back banked slalom wins to lead the U.S. team to a strong 12-medal showing from November 17-18.

Minor continued his winning ways from the 2015-16 season that crowned him his first overall world cup title in banked slalom. The 26-year-old, who is competing in only his second international season, edged Austrian world champion Patrick Mayrhofer by less than a second on Thursday and Friday to take double gold in the men’s SB-UL class.

Huckaby returned in fine form after taking last season off, standing out in the women’s LL1 field after wins by over a second margin on both days. Nicole Roundy (Salt Lake City, Utah) added to Team USA’s medal haul with silver and bronze on respective days.

Paralympic gold medalist Evan Strong (Maui, Hawaii) found his stride on the first day of competition, outracing banked slalom world cup champion Matti Suur-Hamari of Finland in the men’s LL2 division on Thursday. Surr-Hamari sought retribution the next day, stealing a victory by .03 of a second over Strong who finished with silver. Mike Shea (Castaic, California) joined his U.S. teammate on the podium with performances that earned him two bronze medals.

Newcomer Mark Mann (Woodbury, Minnesota) made his world cup debut with the U.S. team with medal-winning performances in the LL1 class, claiming silver on Thursday and bronze on Friday. Mann, a bi-lateral below-the-knee amputee, was injured in a boating accident in 2013 and has since been an up-and-coming snowboarder and wakesurfer.

Team USA will have some time before returning for the second world cup of the season in La Molina, Spain from January 16-21. It’ll then be a quick turnaround for the highly-anticipated world championships taking place February 2-7 in Big White, British Columbia.

For full results from the world cup opener in Landgraaf, visit the IPC Snowboard website.