Morning Star Staff
Kevin Hill’s super snowboard season resumed in Switzerland.
Vernon’s Hill, a gold medalist at the Winter X Games, and a silver medalist at the World Championships, added a pair of bronze medals to his season total at the opening World Cup snowboardcross races in Veysonnaz on the weekend.
Hill finished third behind Lucas Eguibar of Spain and Nikolay Olyunin of Russia in Sunday’s race.
Australia’s Alex Pullin won Saturday’s event ahead of Eguibar and Hill, who stands second in the World Cup standings behind Eguibar. Hill pocketed 600 points.
“I felt very strong coming into the race having only been away from home for four days before the race,” said Hill. “We had a little bit of a wax problem in the time trials, I was 27th after having to do a second run, and I had last lane choice all day which makes it a little harder in heats.
“I battled each heat all the way to the finals. In the finals I had a pretty decent race, I was so close to first place that I ran into the winner from behind crossing the finish line along with a photo finish for second but because I had lost a little bit I ended up third the first day.”
Things were different Sunday as Hill qualified in fourth place, only having to do one run in the time trials, and had first lane choice for his few heats.
“I felt good and strong like I could win the day,” he said. “The gate dropped in the final and we were all very close down the long straight. I got a bump from someone and I was in third going into the first turn.
“Coming out of the turn was a jump called the Tunnel Jump, and the rider in fourth place rode on top of the tail of my board causing me to spin backwards in the air. I quickly decided to continue the spin and I got very lucky to land perfectly on my feet still going just as fast.
“I came around the last turn with speed but at the finish line I was behind the top-two by about a board length. I was so excited to have landed that scary spin and still manage to pull off another podium to keep my podium streak alive for this whole season.”
The results earned Hill $6,250 in Swiss Francs heading into the final races this weekend in La Molina, Spain, where he will try to earn the World Cup champion’s Crystal Globe. On the women’s side, two-time Canadian Olympic medalist Dominique Maltais took gold Sunday after a fourth the day before.