Sun, 28 Feb 2021

ROME, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The 2020-2021 FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup finally raised its curtain on Saturday in the Italian resort of Chiesa in Valmalenco, as local star Michela Moioli won on home soil in the women's big final.

The 25-year-old Moioli, gold medalist at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and overall winner last season, rallied to pass Eva Samkova from the Czech Republic to take the lead and went on to maintain her leading role until hitting the finish line.

Faye Gulini of the United States also passed Samkova en route to finish second, leaving the latter to settle for the third place.

In the men's big final, Glenn De Blois from the Netherlands upset a strong field to take his maiden Snowboard Cross World Cup win, which also made him the second ever Dutch athlete to manage the feat.

Qualifications winner Eliot Grondin of Canada finished second, followed by last season's runner-up in the overall World Cup standings Lorenzo Sommariva of Italy.

The second of the back-to-back World Cup races in the Italian resort will take place on Sunday.

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