World Cup snowboard cross: Charlotte Bankes finishes third for GB

The top three at the World Cup snowboard cross
Bankes (right) won three World Cup medals for France last season

Britain's Charlotte Bankes finished third at the first World Cup snowboard cross event of the season in Cervinia.

The 23-year-old, who was born in Hemel Hempstead but moved to France aged four, switched nationalities from France to Britain last month.

Having finished seventh in qualifying, Bankes won her quarter-final easily.

In the final, four-time Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis took gold and only 0.06 seconds separated Olympic bronze medallist Eva Samkova from Bankes.

Having secured a place in the final to guarantee a top-six position, Bankes was out of the gates quickly alongside Jacobellis, but the American gained the lead going into the first corner.

After some close racing and board-to-board contact, Bankes was shuffled out of contention, but fought back through the field midway down the course.

"I had a good start there with Lindsey and was probably about second into the first turn but then I had some contact from behind and needed to take an outside line into the third or fourth turn and was passed by some of the others," said Bankes.

"I just needed to then get in behind everyone and try to start overtaking when I could but it was a bit of a slow course.

"It's a relief to get the first World Cup under my belt [for Great Britain] and it's a good result after all the hard work."

The second World Cup race is also in the Italian resort of Cervinia on Saturday.

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