Reiter races to second in World Cup
Steamboat Springs — Alpine snowboarder Justin Reiter put an exclamation point on a solid season of World Cup racing Sunday, rolling through a pair of World Cup events in Asahikawa, Japan.
The Steamboat Springs Olympian was strong Saturday in a parallel giant slalom event, placing sixth. A day later, he was considerably better, placing second to earn the third podium and best single World Cup finish of his career.
The big results were the third and fourth top-10 World Cup finishes of Reiter’s season and pushed him into fifth-place overall on the circuit.
Reiter said before the season a top-three finish in those stands was a season goal, and he’ll have the chance to close in on reaching it with two events remaining.
The World Cup stops March 7 in Moscow then wraps up March 14 in Winterberg, Germany.
If he can race again as well as he did this weekend, his goal could be a real possibility.
Reiter qualified fifth on Saturday and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing. A day later he wasn’t as fast in qualifying, coming in ninth. He was nearly perfect after that, however, winning a tight race to make it to quarterfinals, and an even tighter one — decided by 0.02 seconds — to move on to semifinals. There he beat Slovenia’s Rok Flander before losing to Zan Kosir, another Slovenian, in the finals.
Another Winter Sports Club racer, Michael Trapp, placed 28th.
One-time Steamboat Springs snowboarder Vic Wild finished 14th and 37th at the events but is third in the overall World Cup standings thanks to having placed in the top 10 in every previous event on the circuit this season.
Ledecka third, fourth
Reiter wasn’t the only Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete to shine in Japan. Ester Ledecka, a Czech Republic skier who trains with Steamboat, earned another podium finish in what’s been a wonderful season for her.
She was third in Saturday’s parallel giant slalom, then fourth in the parallel slalom event a day later. Ledecka, who won a world championship last month in parallel slalom, is sitting second in the World Cup standings.
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