Jacobellis and Matteotti claim SBX World Championships title
The first snowboard medal events of the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships wrapped up at Kreischberg today with Gold medals for US and Italian riders after some thrilling and exciting action-packed heat of four racing which had everything from clever passing to line defending and wash outs.
Whilst Luca Matteotti (ITA) clinched his career's first WCS Gold, Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) was able to pull off a feat which no other snowboarder had ever done before.
Not only did the 29-year-old from Stratton, VT lock in her fourth Gold; she also secured her fourth title after 2005, 2007 and 2011 at her fourth WCS SBX start keeping that clean slate she was hoping for before flying over to Styria.
“The World Champs seem to always work out fine for me. But this year was definitely my hardest World Champs win”, she said.
Facing a blue bird sky and perfect snow conditions, Jacobellis had to rely on her skills and experience as she wasn't the one to get out of the start first in her heats.
But the 2006 Olympic Silver medallist was able to came back in each of her runs; just like in the ladies' big finals when she crossed the finish line ahead of Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA), Michela Moioli (ITA) and Alexandra Jekova (BUL).
“I did not win any starts and always had to fight finding good spots to pass on this relatively short course. I was really trying to pick where I could pass and when I would get that opportunity by a rider. It's a gamble but the options that I chose paid off.”
In the women's finals, she passed her so far leading and strong looking French rival in the last third of the course, a move which – in the end – didn't disappoint the 24-year-old from Annecy who secured her second WCS Silver after 2011; again behind of Jacobellis.
“Finishing in second position is for sure a win for me not a defeat”, she said in the press conference.
Second ever Italian SBX World Champion
In the men's competition, Matteotti, whose best result at WCS starts so far had been a fourth-ranked finish in La Molina, Spain four years ago capitalised on a technical and narrow course which played into his hands to bring home the second WCS Gold for Italy since Helmut Pramstaller had become the first ever in San Candido, Italy back in 1997.
Being one of the lightweights on the circuit, the Italian racer pushed the pedal to the metal in the men's finals edging off Kevin Hill (CAN) and Nick Baumgartner (USA) to second and third whilst Nate Holland (USA) had to settle for the fourth rank.
“The title is very important for me. I'm super happy. The courses in Austria are very good for me because they are old-style. I don't have the speed of the big guys so I need technical courses which they build in Austria. If the courses are flat, I cannot pass the others. So that course was perfect for me,” Matteotti stated when asked why he does so well when the circuit stops in Austria.
So far, the 25-year-old has one World Cup win to his belt clinched in Lech, Austria back in 2010 whilst also coming out successful of the 2013 Team SBX Event in Montafon, Austria.
The next snowboard medal decision of the first ever combined FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships are the halfpipe finals scheduled for tomorrow night, 6 PM CET.