Lindsey Jacobellis and Andrey Boldykov win first snowboard cross at Veysonnaz
Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) and Andrey Boldykov (RUS) have won the first out of two snowboard cross races scheduled in Veysonnaz, Switzerland and thus the season's second sbx competition of the 2012 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup.
While the US-American claimed her career's 25th World Cup win by relegating Alexandra Jekova (BUL) and Dominique Maltais (CAN) to second and third respectively, Russia's historical triumphant successfully competed in the men's final edging off top guns Nate Holland (USA) and Pierre Vaultier (FRA) to the second and third spot respectively.
It was the first ever win for a Russian rider in the Snowboard Cross World Cup, the first Russian SBX podium ever since 2002. Almost ten years to the day Maria Tikhvinskaja came in second in a snowboard cross race held in Bardonecchia, Italy (JAN 18, 2002).
According to this, the 28-years-old rider, who had never placed on a World Cup podium in his 28 starts before, was all smiles: “I'm super stoked. It was really some hard work but this is a massive success for Russia.”
However, the biggest surprise of a day put it all together due to some very good starts on a course, on which riders wanted to be in one of the front spots before entering the more narrow turn section with full speeds due to the steep first section, which is unique in the World Cup tour.
“I was working hard and long for this and constantly improved myself, step by step. However, I didn't expect anything like this today.”
Especially as there was a lot of fighting for spots going on in today's heats leading to several crashes.
“I saw some carnage today in turn two. It happened in two of my heats,” said Nate Holland, who finally finished as runner-up.
“You pick your line and stick to it. It's kind of no matter what comes. Of course you try to avoid something like this, so it's all last minute. You can't really prepare for it. You just kind of react. Luckily, I was able to avoid some crashes today and push through into the finals,” added the second best qualifier.
Disqualification in the men's final
But then, the Lake Tahoe resident played a major role in the finals (photo) as he did protest against Mateusz Ligocki.
“Pierre (Vaultier) and Andrey (Boldykov) had really good starts. Coming into turn one I thought I would be able to make a move but I had Mateusz (Ligocki) latched on to my back. I think I pulled him some 50 feet down the hill until I got his hand off my back.”
As the protest successfully went through, his Polish rival got bumped down from third to sixth enabling Vaultier to round out the podium as third.
“I mean, I like Ligocki as a person but it's strictly business. Who would have known if I would have had more speed what the end result would have been. It was about making a point of not to grab me,” summed up Holland.
No wonder, that Ligocki had a totally different point of view. “Of course I'm disappointed that I got disqualified in the finals. I mean, we are six guys in a heat fighting for the spots. So there is a lot of touching,” explained the World Cup veteran, who was one of the last athletes to compete in all different World Cup disciplines.
“For sure I didn't grab Nate (Holland) although I did touch him. I always try to ride as fair as possible. And that was fair.”
Back to back win for Jacobellis
While there was a lot of fighting and battling for the spots going on the mens side, Jacobellis was able to experience a more calmer race day knowing that things don't have to turn out good everytime.
“Last time I came here I was in a bit of a tangle up, so this was vast improvement. Two years ago, Alexandra (Jekova) landed on me right before the last corner and we all ended up in a big pile up. Thereafter, I even didn't race the consolidation run,” recalled the reigning World Champion who brought home her 25th World Cup win in her 56th start.
“I was riding very well. I wasn't the first out of the start but once I started working the features I could establish the lead. So I was very happy how I was able to put the course together. I felt good every single run.”
According to her performance, the 26-years-old top qualifier from Stratton, Vermont, is definitely the women to beat out there when the World Cup continues on Saturday and Sunday (JAN 21 - 22) with the season's third snowboard cross race although today's runner-up Alexandra Jekova is hoping to be a tougher rival.
“I'm really happy but I know that I can do better. I have a couple of things to work on for the next days. I hope I can get even better. I will try to ride smoother and more direct. So, I hope that will make me faster.”