It is difficult to satisfy your thirst for victory when you are aiming for a crystal globe and Éliot Grondin noticed this more than ever on Saturday, after climbing onto the third step of the podium at the Snowboard Cross World Cup presented in Italy.

The snowboarder does not hide it: he has great ambitions for the 2023-2024 season, so much so that it is difficult for him to settle for a third place as was the case at the end of a final contested on the Breuil-Cervinia route.

“I’m happy, but not satisfied,” said Grondin a few hours after the final which crowned the Austrian Alessandro Haemmerle, winner ahead of the Australian Adam Lambert and the Quebecer.

The final race took place just like the finish photo, where centimeters made the difference to determine the top 3 in this six-competitor start.

“My goal was to survive! said the bronze medalist, laughing. It’s been a very long time since we last raced six in the World Cup and I would say that the course was not entirely suitable for that. »

Although the whole thing had the effect of causing a few falls, Grondin remained confident. He first flew through qualifying on Friday, then made his way to the grand final 24 hours later.

He then managed to climb among the leading trio from the first moments of the race, but he was unable to make a move to get back on Haemmerle who led from start to finish to win the 16th World Cup. world of his career.

“The level was very high in my last two races and it was difficult to predict things with six riders on the course. If you weren’t first, you couldn’t choose where to go and you had to react according to what was happening around,” explained Grondin, who collected the 11th podium of his career in the World Cup.

He also blamed himself for a slight mistake made in the fourth turn and which, according to him, had a direct impact on the outcome of the race.

The only other Quebecer competing in Breuil-Cervinia, Tristan Bell, from Gatineau, was unable to pass the first elimination round and is in 56th place.

Gold medalist in France at the opening of the season two weeks ago, Éliot Grondin finds himself at the heart of a heated battle with Haemmerle, among others, in the general classification of the discipline. For now, the native of Sainte-Marie is 20 points behind his rival, first with a cumulative score of 180.00.

“There’s a great battle to be had, that’s for sure! » mentioned the one who will skip the mixed team event scheduled for Sunday.

As a precaution, he will instead find himself at the edge of the course to encourage his teammates, with whom he will return to the country at the start of the week.

He will then take a break for the holiday period, before returning to training for the six remaining World Cups on the calendar, starting with St. Moritz, which will take place in Switzerland on January 25-26. .

“It will be good to come home and get some rest. There are a lot of positives to take away from this first block of the season, especially if I compare with last year when I didn’t even make it past the quarter-finals in Italy. The preparation is good and we will do everything to continue on the same path in January,” he concluded.