Double victory for US team
The only event of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup held on the inaugural FIS World Snow Day wrapped up with a double victory for the US-american boarder cross team. Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) and Nate Holland (USA) clinched the top spot in the season's third snowboard cross race hosted in Veysonnaz today.
While the 26-years-old so far unbeaten female rider from Stratton, Vermont, celebrated a three-peat coming out first in the women's final relegating Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Alexandra Jekova (BUL) to second and third, the fourth ranked athlete of the last Olympic Winter Games held the upper hand in a sprint finish with 2009 World Champion Markus Schairer (AUT).
Emanuel Perathoner (ITA), who went down together with Konstantin Schad (GER) in the double bank section in the men's finals, took advantage of a riding mistake of Maximilian Stark (GER) and came in third.
Due to the crash of the two leading riders in the transition from turn one to turn two, Nate Holland took over the lead out of the blue. A lead, which the six-time X-Games winner kept hold on until the very end of an enthralling photo finish.
The Lake Tahoe, CA, resident was only a mere of half a board length ahead of his Austrian rival Schairer, who hadn't claimed a podium spot ever since his triumph at La Molina, Spain, in March 2009.
However, it was the US veteran who came out in front for the fifth time in his career: “It's awesome. I knew I was riding well on this course. I love this course like I said I love the speed. It's good to hit the podium twice. It's good to be back in race form.”
In addition, Holland, the new World Cup leader (1,940), also took some time to explain his key to success.
“Both (Schad and Perathoner) went down right in front of me in the turn section everybody was talking about the last couple of days.
There was a sucker line. People were complaining about it. I didn't reckon that line all week long. You could dive in and get bumped around or you could stay high and ride it smooth. Now we are done I can tell everyone that.”
Three out of three!
While Holland celebrated his career's fifth World Cup win and his second consecutive podium result, his team mate Lindsey Jacobellis secured a three-peat being the unbeaten and thus most dominate rider of the current World Cup season so far.
Nevertheless, compared to her last two wins in Telluride and Veysonnaz, today's triumph didn't come that easy for the 2006 Olympic Silver medalist.
“Today was a fight. I didn't have a great start, so I was trying to plan my way down the course and see what opportunities would open up for me.
I was kind of following Dominique (Maltais) down just waiting if I could make a pass somewhere. I saw a little opportunity and just went for it,” said the three-time SBX World Champion (2005, 2007 and 2011).
With 3,000 points under her belt right now, the current World Cup leader is also thinking the unthinkable: “It's always a great goal to win every race. I just keep trying my best. I feel like I'm on a role, my body feels good. I'm happy with how I've been approaching mentally this year.”
While the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup continues at Sudelfeld end of January with the season's third parallel giant slalom at Sudelfeld, Germany, the snowboard cross riders will meet again at Blue Mountain, Canada, beginning of February for their fourth competition.