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Snowboard: Eliot Grondin caps off winning season with home victory in Canada

Eliot Grondin admitted there's nothing better than winning at home after capping off a historic season with a victory in Canada.

Grondin enjoyed some home cooking and bounced back in a major way. The Canadian clinched the crystal globe weeks ago but struggled last weekend with an injury and saw his podium streak end.

Grondin returned to his dominant form with a win in front of the raucous fans on Saturday. He won every heat by a comfortable margin and threw his fist in the air when crossing the line in the big final to a mighty roar from the home crowd.

“Winning at home is the best. Winning in Europe is cool but wining here with all my family and friends watching and supporting is amazing,” Grondin said.

“It probably was one of my best starts, I held it top to bottom. It was probably my best run,” Grondin said. “Today was challenging, the guys were super-fast at the start section, but I had a good plan and knew what to do.”

It was Grondin’s sixth win of the season in ten races. He will attempt the weekend sweep in the final race of the season on Sunday.

Coming up behind Grondin was Cameron Bolton (AUS) who leaned at the end to clinch second place. It was a solid day for Bolton who edged out Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) by a photo finish in the semifinal.

It is the third podium of the season for Bolton, and he clinches third place in the overall standings. It was his first big final since early February.   

Radek Houser (CZE) had a career day, reaching his first ever podium in third. He could not hide his joy with the result.

“I still cannot believe it. It is awesome for me. I am honored to be with such good riders,” Houser said.

Evan Bichon (CAN) also made his first ever big final ending in fourth on the day, besting his previous career best finish of seventh place.

Adam Lambert (AUS) won the small final beating Haemmerle (AUT). The Austrian clinched second in the overall standings after sweeping the races in Austria last weekend.

Other top contenders Merlin Surget (FRA), Omar Visintin (ITA), and Kalle Koblet (SUI) all went out in first round.

Charlotte Bankes (GBR) was the victor on the women’s side. She pulled off multiple comebacks throughout the day, hanging in the back of the group before making a late charge at the finish.

Bankes pulled off her late moves in the semifinal to get by Eva Adamczykova (CZE) and advance to the big final. She then did it again to swerve around Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) to win on Saturday. It was her fourth win of the season and 19th win of her career.

“Today was a tight race. I am happy to be on top. I pushed until the end and am happy to come away with the win,” Bankes said.

The win for Bankes keeps her slim chances alive at the crystal globe. She needs another win on Sunday and to hope Trespeuch has a disastrous first round finish. She sits 85 points behind the French leader who is on the doorstep of her first career globe.  

Bankes is gunning for her third straight overall title despite a slow start to this season. She knows it is unlikely but is going to give it her best shot on Sunday.

“I think it’s decided so, I just need to concentrate on my riding and build the runs one by one and have fun out there and give it my best," Bankes said.

Trespeuch ended the day in second. Her teammate Lea Casta (FRA) rounded out the podium for her first top three finish of the season. Josie Baff (AUS) was fourth.

Adamczykova (CZE) won the small final beating Michela Moioli (ITA). Moioli came into the day with a chance at chasing down Trespeuch for the overall lead. Her sixth-place finish after losing in the semifinals eliminated her title hopes. She is in third in the overall standings with one race to go.

Credit: FIS

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