Jacqueline Hernandez and Konstantin Schad win last boarder cross of the season
The snowboard cross season concluded with two career's first in Valmalenco, Italy, today. For the first time ever, Jacqueline Hernandez (USA) and Konstantin Schad (GER) clinched a win in the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup.
In a close and very exciting women's final, the 19-years-old US-American relegated Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) and Zoe Gillings (GBR) to second and third.
“It's so awesome. It's the first time ever I won a World Cup, obviously even podiumed. It's an amazing feeling,” said Hernandez after her sixth World Cup appearance.
The up-coming talent of the US rooster had played one of two major roles in the last women's heat by dueling in out with Olympic Champion Maelle Ricker (CAN) from the start until the last turn.
“The final was really tight. I didn't start in the lead, then I passed, then there was passing everywhere. Then, Maelle (Ricker) fell in the last turn, I just went around her and over the last kicker into the finish.”
Due to the mistake of her team mate, Dominique Maltais (CAN), who came in fourth, secured her career's third World Cup title with 4,200 points edging off fifth ranked Maelle Ricker (3,950) to the second spot in the final World Cup ranking.
“I'm relieved that I won the title,” stated the 31-years-old fire fighter who thus repeated her last year's triumph.
However, Maltais also admitted, that she underwent some tough time on the 1,023 meter long course.
“Of course I wanted to win but couldn't pass. When you are behind, you start thinking of the ranking. It was pretty stressful out there.”
Although beaten by only 250 points, Ricker was all good with how things turned out to be.
“What a great race. That's what we live for in sport, to have it come down to that final, final moment. So, I'm still super happy with the day and the season and really looking forward to next year.”
Schad and Marin Tarroch write history for Germany and Andorra
On the men's side, Schad brought home the first German Snowboard Cross win since seven and a half years relegating Andrey Boldikov (RUS) and Lluis Marin Tarroch (AND), who claimed the first ever World Cup podium for his home country, to second and third respectively.
It was late October 2010 on the Saas-Fee glacier (Switzerland), when Michael Layer had clinched the – until today – only boarder cross win of a German rider.
According to this, Schad, the reigning National Champion cheered: “That's unbelievable.”
The enthusiastic golfer (handicap 8) had definitely deserved the win as the 24-years-old from Bavaria not only had dominated his heats before but also knew when to put the hammer down in order to secure first place.
“I had won all of my three heats before. Then, he (Marin Tarroch) just rode away, but there was no way I would let him do that. I had a magic trick in store for the S-passage and it paid off. I'm super stoked!”
Pumped by the result which was the first since December 2010 (2nd race in Lech, Austria) not to feature an US boy in the top-3, Schad stated: “I'm the second German ever to win a boarder cross World Cup but I won't be the last as we are really very strong!”
Time will tell if the young gun had some true saying.
The 2012 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup concludes with a parallel giant slalom scheduled in Valmalenco tomorrow.