Italian and US duos celebrate wins at Solitude team SBX
Team USA1 and ITA1 are the winning duos of the 2016-17 snowboard cross World Cup season's second team race which was staged in perfect conditions at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah today.
The host in waiting of the 2019 snowboard cross world championships decisions had been hit by a snow storm yesterday which had made the individual race not only a fight man against man but also one against Mother Nature.
But today, the weather God was a snowboard fan blowing the last clouds away and leaving the field a superb man-built course with great visibility and no head-wind to compete on.
A World Cup win as birthday present
Four-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis, who had placed third in yesterday's individual race as well as birthday girl Rosina Mancari did their home country proud winning the big final in a photo finish decision against FRA1.
Jacobellis, the first in the team to enter the course, handed over quite a lead to her younger companion hoping that Mancari, who turned 22 today, would be able to keep hold to it.
“Today was really awesome. My legs weren't as tired as I though they would be which was cool.
Last run was fighting the whole way down. We were all really close, and I was trying to just take away lines and options and slow down the other girls trying to hold the lead so Rosi doesn't have to fight her way through the pack.”
And Rosi, who had switched roles with the 2006 Olympic silver medallist in order to best their fourth rank finish from the Montafon World Cup opener, stood true to the game plan blocking off all attacks launched by Nelly Moenne Loccoz who was literally breathing down Mancari's neck.
“Oh my God, the last turns. She was right on me. I had to take my line and keep my speed but I also needed to figure out where she would try to pass me. I just tried to hold her off as best as I can,” reported Mancari who did compete in her first US World Cup event.
“I can't really put it in words what it means to me. My mom is here watching the first race ever. It's just amazing.”
With Mancari, with six World Cup stops under her belt quite a new face on the tour, showcasing some nerves of steel, Team USA1 prevented back-to-back team sbx event triumphs for the French as runner-ups Moenne Loccoz and Sochi bronze medallist Chloe Trespeuch had been successful in Austria earlier this season.
Michela Moioli and Raffaella Brutto of ITA1, who had placed second in Austria, rounded out the podium as third.
Matteotti and Perathoner smile from the top spot of the podium
Redemption for Team Italy
In the men's event, reigning world champion Luca Matteotti and Emanuel Perathoner clinched the win in the men's final which saw several wash-outs, passes and tight manoeuvres, simply all ingredients which make snowboard cross what it is: a great show.
It was the perfect way to delete their yesterday's disappointing results from any memories related to the first ever World Cup stop in Solitude.
In the individual race, Matteotti and Perathoner had finished on a respective 35th and 42nd place.
However, ITA1 owed today's redemption triumph to Perathoner's sensational comeback.
Going out of the gates as fourth and last rider the South Tyrolean stormed through the course, capitalised on riding mistakes of his rivals like the one from yesterday's winner of AUT1 Alessandro Haemmerle and passed one competitor after the other finally bringing home the win for his team ahead of AUT2 young guns Julian Lueftner and Lukas Pachner who celebrated their career's first World Cup podium.
“We tried to do better than yesterday and tried to win. Basically I had no pressure. I did very bad yesterday, and I just wanted to do it better today,” Perathoner said.
USA1 with Alex Deibold and Nate Holland placed in third position.
The snowboard cross World Cup tour continues in Bansko (BUL) with an individual race staged from February 2 to 4, 2017.
Full results of this season's second snowboard cross team World Cup event staged at the Solitude Mountain Resort today can be viewed online.