Reiter wins at World Cup
There was only one way for Steamboat Springs snowboarder Justin Reiter to one-up one of the best results of his career — a second-place finish last week in a parallel giant slalom race at a World Cup in Japan.
He managed to do just that, winning the first World Cup of his career Saturday, racing parallel slalom under the lights in Moscow.
“Today was a great day,” Reiter said. “Crossing the line to win was a feeling of pure elation. It was the culmination of years of hard work.”
Reiter took a long road to the top of the podium.
He briefly retired after missing the 2010 Winter Olympics but couldn’t live without his sport, Alpine snowboarding. He came back strong, finishing second at the 2009 World Championships and finally earning that trip to the Winter Olympics last year, to Sochi, Russia.
It wasn’t quite the experience he had hoped it would be, as he failed to make finals in either of his events, but he kept with the sport, and late this season, has realized some of the best results of his career.
First was the second-place showing last weekend in Japan and then Saturday’s breakthrough.
It was the fourth World Cup podium of his career.
Reiter was 10th in the event’s qualification round, but once he hit the head-to-head bracketed portion of the race, there was no stopping him. He was 0.14 seconds better than his round-of-16 opponent and 0.55 better than his quarterfinal foe. He beat Andrey Sobolev of Russia by 0.35 seconds in the semi-finals, then took down Benjamin Karl of Austria in the finals.
The man-made course featured a sharp break in the middle, and Reiter slowed as he went over it. Karl charged ahead but lost his balance and went sprawling off the course while Reiter cruised in for the victory.
“I knew I was coming into the final pitch a little bit behind, which I was used to all day,” he said in a press release. “I knew my money gates were the last four so I decided to pin it a little extra close because I knew I was behind and pressured him enough to make a mistake. It was a strong run, and I just had to stay focused on myself.”
The win pushed Reiter into third place in the World Cup standings. One event remains on the schedule, a parallel slalom Saturday at Winterberg, Germany.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Things are normally pretty quiet around the base area of Steamboat Resort this time of year, but a lot has happened since the ski area closed following the 2020-21 season.