Jekova and Wescott triumph in Arosa’s first Snowboard Cross
Alexandra Jekova (BUL) and Seth Wescott (USA) have won the penultimate snowboard cross of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season. In the first ever finals held with heats of six riders in Arosa, Switzerland, today, the Bulgarian athlete brought home the first ever Snowboard World Cup win for her home country by relegating Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (USA) and Zoe Gillings (GBR) to second and third. Fourth ranked Dominique Maltais clinched her career’s second SBX World Cup title ahead of schedule. On the men’s side, Seth Wescott celebrated his career’s second World Cup win with France’s Pierre Vaultier, who took over the World Cup lead again and Paul-Henri De le Rue rounding out the podium as second and third.
After her historic run to victory, Alexandra Jekova was all smiles: “I’m so happy, happy, happy. I want to dedicate this victory to my father, who supported me over the past ten, fifteen years as coach and wax tech. This win was the last tiny little bit missing and very important for my confidence. I never expected to be on top of the podium,” said the 23-years-old who had placed seven times on the podium before.
In contrary to the two-time Olympian (2006 and 2010), Callan Chythlook-Sifsof had only one top-3 finish to her belt before (3rd in Furano, Japan, 2007). According to this, the 22-years-old from Alaska was very relieved after she had claimed her career’s best result in a season which had been full of ups and downs for her.
“I’m so excited, it’s unbelievable. I still can’t get it,” said Chythlook-Sifsof. “It seems that I always have my good results at the end of a season. This summer, I will train harder, so I can ride more consistently next season.”
Seth Wescott best in photo finish
Other than his team mate, Seth Wescott had only entered one race this winter so far. “I wanted to keep it pretty mellow this season and only do those races I really like. So, it’s good that we have two races here,” explained Wescott after his career’s second win in 69 starts, which he secured just where he triumphed the first time two years ago: in Arosa.
Before his season’s second start, the 34-years-old from Sugarloaf had only raced in Telluride and got overtaken just centimetres ahead of the finish line by Pierre Vaultier. Today, it was redemption day: “It’s nice that it worked out. I was aiming for some good results in my few races. But my main goal is the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”
In Sotchi, he might meet up with Pierre Vaultier again, who was the unlucky first loser today but took over the World Cup lead with his second rank thus getting closer to a successful title defence: “That was Seth’s (Wescott) revenge,” said the Frenchman. “For sure I would have preferred to win but the second rank is also good as I’m also in the lead again. I expect to give my best tomorrow in order to repeat my 2010 title.”
Close battle on the men’s side, title for Maltais
At the moment, Vaultier has 2,890 points and is thus 200 points ahead of US-American Jonathan Cheever, who will also have one throw away result after tomorrow’s last race.
On the women’s side, the race for the Globe is over as Dominique Maltais clinched her career’s second SBX World Cup title today ahead of schedule. “I’m happy that I have the globe again although I’m aiming for more podium results. This title was very easy as I needed only a top-15 finish today. But for sure I would have loved to make it on the podium.”
Result women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7188/7188RLR0.pdf
Final bracket women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7188/7188RLRF.pdf
Final bracket men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7189/7189RLRF.pdf
Snowboard Cross World Cup standings women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7188/7188WCS.pdf
Snowboard Cross World Cup standings men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7189/7189WCS.pdf