Maltais leads Canadian snowboard cross medal hopefuls at Blue Mountain
Chris Robanske posts fastest qualifying time Friday at World cup event
Canada's Chris Robanske posted the fastest time in men's qualifying Friday at a World Cup snowboard cross event at Blue Mountain, Ont.
Robanske, Dominique Maltais and Maelle Ricker lead a contingent of six Canadian medal hopefuls into Saturday's elimination rounds.
Robanske, from North Vancouver, B.C., finished his first heat in one minute 10.75 seconds, which was 0.4 seconds ahead of American Nick Baumgartner.
Squamish, B.C., native Robert Fagan, the oldest snowboarder on the men's side at 36 years of age, posted a time of 1:12.05 to finish in seventh place.
Kevin Hill of Vernon, B.C., and Jake Holden of Caledon, Ont., also qualified for Saturday, ending up in 16th and 28th respectively.
Six Canadian development team members failed to qualify for the elimination rounds, with Thomas Pitman, of Trail, B.C., posting the best result with a 46th-place finish.
On the women's side, both Maltais and Ricker managed to overcome stumbles in one of their heats to post strong qualifying times.
Ricker, from Squamish, posted a time of 1:15.32, good enough for second overall, after briefly holding the lead following her opening run.
Maltais, from Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois, Que., lost a bolt on her board during her first heat, and did not finish her opening run.
But she rebounded on her second attempt to finish in 1:15.51, putting her in fourth overall.
Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic was the fastest women's qualifier.
Calgary's Michelle Brodeur, Tess and Jade Critchlow of Kelowna, B.C., and Zoe Bergermann of Acton, Ont., failed to qualify for Saturday's elimination rounds.