Jacobellis and Schiavon triumph in Valmalenco Snowboard
Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) and Alberto Schiavon (ITA) have won the third to last snowboard cross race of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup tour in Valmalenco, Italy, today. While the US-American brought home a commanding back-to-back win ahead of Eva Samkova (CZE), Deborah Anthonioz (FRA) and Canada’s Dominique Maltais, who still sits on top of the women’s Snowboard Cross standings, it was a super tight decision on the men’s side. In one of the last year’s most exciting men’s finals, Schiavon had the better end in a photo finish thus edging off US boys Jonathan Cheever, who thus took over the lead in the race for the Crystal Globe and Nate Holland to second and third. Pierre Vaultier (FRA) came in fourth.
It was Schiavon’s second World Cup triumph ever after Whistler, Canada (2005) and also a perfect redemption for last year’s final right at the same spot. Back then, the 32-years-old from Madonna di Campiglio, who was riding in promising position, crashed over the b-netting thus being forced to burry all hopes for his long career’s third podium, which he finally clinched today.
“I chose the same line like last year. It was about first or fourth and I won. Last night, I dreamed of winning this race. This victory is something very special, especially as it was Italy’s unity day yesterday,” said the sixth ranked rider of the last World Championships after the final.
Before, “Nano” and his rivals in the final had been battling each other all the way down, including several changes at the lead. “I had several board contacts with Pierre (Vaultier), was ahead and then last again. But I knew that I could pick up enough speed at the end. I chose the crazy high line and flew over all others”, so Schiavon further on.
Cheever takes over World Cup lead
Jonathan Cheever, who had been in front by only a few centimetres until close to the finish line, thus was the first to be beaten: “I’m stoked being second although I’m also sick of the bride’s maid position. It’s my third second rank in a row now (including the Nor-Am Cup in The Canyons). So, I’m definitely looking forward to Switzerland,” said the 25-years-old, who thus is still hunting down his career’s first ever World Cup win and gets two more chances at the World Cup finals in Arosa next week.
Nevertheless, the eighth ranked boarder crosser of the La Molina World Championships took over the Snowboard Cross World Cup lead with 2,490 points. “The Globe is definitely my main goal now. I want to bring home some Crystal. But there are still two more races in Arosa and a lot of people able to win this. So, I have to stay consistent,” explained the Park City, Utah, resident.
At the moment, the top-9 ranked riders of the standings are all within 960 points – and Cheever, who has competed in five races this seasons, has, unlike his main rivals for the title, Vaultier (2,090) and Holland (1,860), who only had four starts so far, one throw away result of by now 200 points. At a total of seven races counting for the World Cup rankings, there is one throw away result.
Maltais keeps hold on World Cup lead with fourth rank
On the women’s side, Dominique Maltais is still in excellent position to bring home her career’s second Crystal Globe having cumulated 4,300 points so far. A fact, which also her number one competitor in the race for the title, Lindsey Jacobellis, accepted.
“It feels great to win here especially as we finally had some blue bird sky today,” said the reigning World Champion. But asked for her chances to clinch the World Cup title, the 25-years-old from Stratton, Vermont, answered: “Of course I want to win every race I compete in. But chances are pretty high that Dominique (Maltais) will also make it to both finals. She is riding very consistent this season. So, I’m not really thinking of the Globe.”
Result women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7171/7171RLR0.pdf
Final bracket women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7171/7171RLRF.pdf
Final bracket men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7172/7172RLRF.pdf
Snowboard Cross World Cup standings women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7171/7171WCS.pdf
Snowboard Cross World Cup standings men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7172/7172WCS.pdf