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Canada's Grondin wins season-opening World Cup snowboard cross event

Eliot Grondin won the season-opening men's World Cup snowboard cross Sunday. Grondin of Sainte-Marie, Que., celebrates his victory in the men’s finals, at the FIS snowboard cross world cup event at Mont-Sainte-Anne resort, in Beaupre, Que., Saturday, March 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

ROMANS-SUR-ISÈRE, France — Eliot Grondin won the season-opening men's World Cup snowboard cross on Sunday.

The 22-year-old from Sainte-Marie, Que., edged reigning Olympic champion and runner-up Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria in Sunday's final by less than a tenth of a second.

“I had a good start and protected the lead the whole way down,” Grondin told the FIS website. "I had great speed all week and have been racing some super good guys all day, especially Alessandro over the first three rounds. 

Grondin finished first in his round-of-16 race, quarterfinal and semifinal en route to the four-man final at Les Deux Alps resort.

"It’s a crazy day really after winning qualifications in the morning," Grondin said.

Spaniard Lucas Eguibar was third in the final.

Grondin was the Olympic silver medallist and teamed with Meryeta O’Dine for bronze in the inaugural mixed team event in 2022 in Beijing.

O'Dine of Prince George, B.C. was eighth in Sunday's women's race.

The next snowboard cross World Cup races are Dec. 15-17 in Cervinia, Italy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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