VALLNORD -- Olympic-bound Dominique Maltais posted the fastest time in qualifying Friday at a snowboard cross World Cup competition.
The native of Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Que., finished in one minute and 13.43 seconds in qualifying, which determines the seedings for the finals on Saturday.
Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic was also fast finishing right behind Maltais in 1:13.66. Alexandra Jekova of Bulgaria was third in 1:15.40.
"I think Eva and I certainly sent a message today being two seconds faster than the rest of the field," said Maltais, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist. "But tomorrow is another day and conditions and the course could be different. But still it's a great way to start the second half of the season."
The top-12 on the first run automatically qualified for the finals. Twelve more spots were available on a second run, which was topped by Maelle Ricker of Squamish, B.C., in 1:15.49.
Carle Brenneman of Whistler, B.C., and Zoe Bergermann of Acton, Ont., also qualified for finals ranking eighth and 11th on the second run.
Four Canadians advanced to finals on the men's side: Chris Robanske of Calgary and Kevin Hill of Vernon, B.C., qualified 15th and 23rd on the first run. Robert Fagan of Squamish, B.C., and Baptiste Brochu of Saguenay, Que., qualified on the second run.