It was a rough and tumble finish in the FIS World Cup boarder cross finals in Spain overnight as Aussie athlete Josie Baff took her sixth podium of her FIS career.

The 21 year old was trailing at the back of the field, looking lightly to miss the podium in the big final, but on the finish line race leaders Chloe Trespeuch of France and Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes sensationally collided, leaving Italy’s Michela Moioli and Baff to cross the line and take the gold and silver medals.

As the race jury reviewed the contact, both riders remained down. Trespeuch was lying flat on her back only centimetres on the wrong side of the finish line, while Bankes had the presence of mind to shuffle over it on her backside. With the result confirmed, a concerned Baff then dashed back from the finish area to help Trespeuch onto her feet, while Bankes was able to walk gingerly down the slope alongside Moioli.

 “Today was a lot of fun,” said the 2023 World Championship medallist Baff from Jindabyne in the NSW Snow Mountains.

“I was making a few mistakes in the earlier heats and I’m glad I was able to get my head in the right place and be in the game.

“I seem to have been in a small-final curse for the last couple of races, so I was super happy to make the big-final. Hopefully everyone can get to Cortina in good nick – there was a nasty crash in the final, so I hope everyone is all good and ready to race again.”

The podium performance sees Baff move into third place on the FIS World Cup standings on 333 points, trailing Trespeuch in first place on 490.

Five events remain this season, with the next event set to take place on March 9 in Cortina d’Amprezzo, Italy, site of the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

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