Chris Robanske wins snowboardcross silver in Russia
Olympic champs Pierre Vaultier, Eva Samkova earn victories
Canada's Chris Robanske of the Calgary Snowboard Club picked up his first World Cup snowboardcross podium of the season, finishing second behind Olympic champion Pierre Vaultier of France at Sunny Valley resort in Miass, Russia, on Sunday.
Robanske, 26, who has one World Cup victory to his credit, placed fourth and 14th in his first two World Cup events of the season in January in Feldberg, Germany.
The former skateboard enthusiast overcame spine and ankle injuries that plagued the start of his snowboardcross career. He competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi where he was knocked out in the quarter-final round.
Two years after both won gold at the Sochi Olympics, Vaultier and Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic enjoyed more success in Russia with snowboardcross World Cup victories.
Vaultier took his second consecutive win after victory in Feldberg last month, winning the big final from the fast-finishing Robanske and Spain's Lucas Eguibar, who had qualified fastest Saturday.
That puts Vaultier into the overall standings lead, 480 points ahead of previous leader Nikolai Olyunin of Russia, who failed to make it past Sunday's quarterfinals following a fall. Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria, who had been third in the standings before Sunday's round, also failed to reach the semifinals.
Samkova dominated all weekend in the women's event at the Sunny Valley, qualifying fastest on Saturday then taking the win Sunday ahead of Belle Brockhoff of Australia, with third place going to Italy's Michela Moioli.
For Samkova, it was her second win of the season and fifth career World Cup victory.
Three Canadians were in the women's event as Carle Brenneman of Whistler, B.C. was 5th, Zoe Bergermann of Erin, Ont. was 6th and Kelowna's Tess Critchlow, finished 16th.
France's defending champion Nelly Moenne Loccoz retains the standings lead despite finishing only 12th but her lead has been sharply reduced from the 700-point advantage she enjoyed prior to Sunday's races. Samkova is now second, 160 points behind Moenne Loccoz.
Four more World Cup rounds remain, beginning with 2018 Winter Olympics host nation South Korea next week.
With files from CBC Sports