Eva Samková won her first race of the season in a thrilling women's final ©Getty Images

Alessandro Hämmerle and Eva Samková were victorious in the second set of International Ski Federation (FIS) Snowboard Cross World Cup races in Chiesa in Valmalenco in Italy.

Defending champion Hämmerle suffered an early exit from the competition yesterday, failing to make the final, but lived up his billing by winning today's men's event.

The Austrian was victorious ahead of France's Merlin Surget and the United States' Hagen Kearney in a tight battle to the line.

Hämmerle had been behind Surget, but overtook the American over the closing jumps.

Surget's silver medal was his best FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup result to date and only his second podium.

This was Kearney's second podium too and the first since a victory in Montafon in December 2016.

Kearney made the podium a day removed from finishing fourth, with compatriot Jake Vedder fourth this time.

Austrian Jakob Dusek won the small final ahead of Alex Deibold of the US, Italy's Lorenzo Sommariva and yesterday's runner-up Éliot Grondin of Canada.

Samková - the Olympic champion at Sochi 2014 and a bronze medallist at Pyeongchang 2018 - won the women's event ahead of American Faye Gulini, who was second for the second day running.

The Czech trailed Gulini by a second at the intermediate gate, but took a tight line on the final corner which proved decisive.

The same four athletes were in the big final as yesterday, with France's Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau improving to finish third and Michela Moioli fourth.

Moioli, yesterday's winner, is also the reigning World Cup champion.

Britain's Charlotte Bankes won the small final to record her best result of the season so far and was followed by French pair Chloe Trespeuch and Manon Petit Lenoir, with Italy's Sofia Belingheri eighth.