Eliot Grondin scores a historic sixth victory at Mont-Sainte-Anne

We knew the crystal globe had been acquired, but Eliot Grondin made sure to write his name in the snowboard cross record book by signing a sixth victory this season during the first stage of the Mont-Sainte-Sainte-Christophe World Cup. Anne, Saturday.

This sixth victory in a season allowed him to climb alone to first place, breaking the tie he shared with Quebecer Jasey Jay Anderson and Frenchman Pierre Vaultier.

The British Charlotte Bankes, winner of the women’s stage, shares this mark with him thanks to her six victories won last season.

“We will try to win a seventh [dimanche], said Grondin when asked about the record. I did not know. I had fun all winter. Those are nice numbers, but they’re not things I dwell on. »

“It’s a good record, especially having missed a competition last week. Yes, the globe is already won, but I wanted to come here and dominate the weekend, show why I am the one who wins the globe. We’re halfway there. »

Grondin already held the mark for the most podiums in snowboard cross after being there for the eighth time this season in Cortina d’Ampezzo on March 9. His podium on Saturday is his ninth this season. He finished second twice and third once.

The Quebecer, who won all his waves on Saturday, saved the best for last, as he led this grand final from start to finish. At the finish line, he was several distances ahead of Australian Cameron Bolton and Czech Radek Houser.

“It was a good descent,” analyzed the snowboarder from Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. In the waves today, I took all the best at the start every time. No, I wasn’t winning the starts, but I knew what I had to do to catch them and finish first at the bottom. »

Canadian Evan Bichon took fourth place in this grand final, recording his best career result after his seventh place acquired in Montafon, Austria, last week.

” It was great ! To achieve my best result at home, I couldn’t ask for better, said the British Columbian. What a day for Eliot and me! »

“ [En finale], I wanted to do what I did all day: hide at the back and enjoy the slipstream in the final stretch. I left the suction zone just a little too early. »

Liam Moffatt, the other Canadian competing on Saturday, was eliminated in the round of 16 and finished the event in 19th place.

Bolton moved into third place overall with 472 points. The Austrian Alessandro Hämmerle, sixth in the event, is assured of being vice-world champion with 588 points. Grondin is far ahead, at 852 points.

Bichon (162) and Moffatt (155) come to the 20e and 21e places.

In front of Kingsbury

Grondin signed this historic victory in front of another world record holder: the hard worker Mikaël Kingsbury, who came there to encourage his friend this weekend.

“I am very close to Eliot. We have a bit of the same team around us and we often talk to each other during the season, said the man with 26 crystal globes and 90 World Cup victories. It was a good time for me on my first weekend off at home to come and encourage him. Usually I’m the one at the World Cups and it’s been a long time since I’ve been to an event and I’m happy to just be there as a spectator. »

“He reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger. They’re two different sports, but the mental and physical preparation, everything that comes with the sport, it’s similar. […] I also want to be there as a mentor for him. »

Bankes back on top

Bankes repeated his feat from last year by winning the first race at Mont-Sainte-Anne. The Briton had quite a final, taking advantage of the aspiration created by her competitors – and her experience – to beat them in the final straight.

“I knew that the start was not essential, that we had to generate enough speed to be in the running,” explained Bankes in absolutely impeccable French. You had to build your race. I managed to save space to be able to build. That was the goal to build on with these last two races. »

She crossed the line in front of the French Chloé Trespeuch, leader in the general classification, and Léa Casta, who had dominated the qualifications. Australian Josie Baff finished fourth.

This victory for Bankes means that she is the only one who could technically deprive Trespeuch of getting his hands on a first crystal globe. However, the Frenchwoman would have to have an absolutely catastrophic day on Sunday, she who holds a lead of 85 points in front of Bankes, 742 against 657.

“No, I’m too far,” admitted Bankes, holder of the last two globes. We had a complicated season, but I’m happy to get some victories. It’s always fun and that’s why we go shopping. This will still be the case tomorrow: building my race without thinking about the result. »

No Canadian had managed to qualify for the elimination rounds. Meryeta O’Dine was the best of the group with a 17e place Friday. It points to 16e rank in the general classification, at 217 points.

On Sunday, the qualifications will be contested in waves, adding a round to the session, which will start at the stroke of noon.

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