Steamboat Springs Snowboarder Tyler Jewell posted the best World Cup finish of his career Saturday, placing third in a parallel giant slalom event in La Molina, Spain.
"Finally, I made it to the steps," Jewell said in a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team press release earlier this week. "I had no expectations : I don't think about results any more. I lost desire for results and all of the sudden the results are coming. I think it was a head thing."
Jewell lived in Steamboat Springs for several years and still is a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Andreas Prommegger of Austria beat teammate Anton Unterkofler in the finals of Saturday's parallel giant slalom race. Jewell knocked off Swiss rider Marc Iselin to earn a place on the podium.
Jewell was the only American to make the finals. Other top Americans in the men's race included Adam Smith in 19th, 2004 Olympian Chris Klug in 20th and Steamboat's Justin Reiter in 22nd.
"I'm hoping that Tyler's third-place finish will pave the way for other Steamboat Springs riders," SSWSC ability coach Thedo Remmelink said.
Jewell trained with Remmelink before the 2006 Olympic Games. These days, Jewell spends his summers training in San Diego and his winters on the road. But Remmelink said the Olympian still comes back to Steamboat occasionally, and is a great example for some of the club's younger riders.
Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands won the women's parallel giant slalom race Saturday, by topping Austrian rider Claudia Riegler in the finals. Riegler's teammate, Marion Kreiner, was third. Austrian riders dominated the women's results with three of the top-five riders in the event and six riders in the top 10. Steamboat's Erica Mueller was the top American rider, in 32nd place.
On Sunday, Slovenia's Rok Flander topped the men's parallel slalom race. Austrian Karl Benjamin was second, and Prommegger was third. Reiter led the Americans with an eighth-place showing. Jewell was 12th.
Austrian Heidi Neururer won the women's race. Sauerbreij was second, and Riegler was third. Michelle Gorgone, another former SSWSC rider, was 24th, and Mueller was 39th.