Steamboat Springs Alpine snowboarder Justin Reiter led the United States on Saturday with his best finish of the season at a World Cup event in Valmalenco, Italy.
The American snowboarder raced to an eighth-place finish in the final World Cup of the season.
“I was stoked to do that,” Reiter said from Europe on Tuesday. “I was riding really well, and I could feel a podium coming.”
After qualifying 16th, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club rider laid down some of his best runs when it mattered most.
He beat top Canadian rider and 2010 Olympic gold medalist Jasey Jay Anderson in the first heat of the knockout duals, and he was on the verge of topping Austria’s Manuel Veith before a costly mistake in his second run.
“I led the first run, but there were some icy spots on my front side turn of the second run that I just couldn’t work out, and I lost my advantage,” Reiter said. “It was a good experience, and it was a good way to end the World Cup season. I felt like I was just starting to find my stride and that keeps me hungry for next year.”
The result was Reiter’s fourth top 20 finish this season on the World Cup and his first top 10 since he placed ninth in a parallel giant slalom race Feb. 6, 2010, in Sudelfeld, Germany.
Roland Fischnaller, of Italy, won Saturday’s parallel giant slalom race.
In Alpine parallel giant slalom races, the athletes compete in a qualifying round and then must advance through a knockout bracket to earn the top spot.
Fischnaller topped Veith in the final heat of the day to win the World Cup event.
Austrian Ingemar Walder topped Swiss snowboarder Kaspar Fluetsch in the consolation finals to take third.
Reiter is a veteran member of the Winter Sports Club and a former member of the U.S. Ski Team. Reiter took the 2011 season off but returned to competitive snowboarding this winter.
He said he plans to race in the USASA National Championships in Copper Mountain, March 31 to April 5. After that, he plans to spend some time with his family and decide if he will return to the Word Cup tour next season.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com