Maltais and Sivertzen fastest in qualifiers
Shaun Palmer takes spot in finals after a long World Cup break
A true snowboard legend is back on the World Cup circuit and ready to give it a shot in the fight for an Olympic team spot.
While Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Stian Sivertzen (NOR) posted the fastest qualifier times at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup at Vallnord-Arcalís, it was the return of action sport icon Shaun Palmer (USA) to the slopes that drew the most attention in Andorra.
The 45-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, CA, is back to what he can do best: racing.
Palmer, who celebrated a comeback to the World Cup circuit after a break of more than three years – he competed last in Telluride Dec 2010 – laid down a solid second run qualifying as 38th for tomorrow's finals (1:30 PM CET).
FISSnowboard had a chance for a quick chat with the oldest man on tour.
FISSnowboard: How do you feel being back on the circuit?
Shaun Palmer: It feels great, it’s fun. These guys are like my family. It feels great to come back and see them and race. I am really old but still fast (laughs).
I love the track here in Vallnord. I did really good in the second run, my first run was real bad. I start to feel better and better. It’s my first race after four years.
Your goal for this weekend?
Well, you try to always win. I’ll ride the best I can, I’ll try to stay with the pack and stay with the kids. They are fast these days. I am just happy to be here. It’s cool that I qualified but I wanna be better than that. So I keep going and keep building confidence.
How about the Olympics?
I wanna go but the American team is the hardest team to make it on to the Olympics. It’s a big challenge but I go for it. The top four American's best results is the criteria to make it.
Full results of today and start lists for tomorrow can be viewed here: