Jacobellis and Berg top Val Thorens SBX podium
Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) and Paul Berg (GER) have come out victorious of the season's third SBX World Cup event which took place in Val Thorens today – the first WC race in France since 16 years.
Over the past couple of days it didn't really look like things would fall into place as severe weather conditions with heavy snowfall had mixed up the whole schedule for the World Cup tour's first stop in the Northern Hemisphere.
But the dedication of Local Organisers, an experienced crew on site which has been running several Europa Cup races already as well as the programme adjustments to the weather situation on a day by day base finally paid off with the final's day kicking off with blue bird sky and no winds.
After the women got their one-run qualifiers locked in in the morning, things got crazy on the course which asked for superb gliding skills as well as the right edge setting in the turns as some of them got really challenging over the course of the day due to the change of light and temperatures.
But the course line also allowed for great racing with tons of options for passing which was showcased in the women's final where five time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis capitalised on her routine in a thrilling heat to relegate local favourite Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) and Michela Moioli (ITA) to the respective second and third rank.
“I was just trying to get in where I could, and I knew some of the style of the ladies, so I tried to anticipate that and try to set up for the hard turns like turn five. I wanted to get at least enough space between me and them, and it all went down”, she said.
“I'm really happy that the course was working well today. Normally everyone loves snow being a winter sport athlete but actually it was very challenging here as it makes the course so slow. The past days, it was hard for the women as we couldn't clear the landings but today was good.”
For Jacobellis actually really good as the World Cup leader was able to earn her 29th World Cup win, her season's second in a row after finishing off the World Cup opener with a second and first place.
Over in the men's event, Berg claimed his career's 2nd.
The 26-year-old had already dominated his heats before and kept the momentum in the final run which turned out to be not only a demonstration of his power but also a show of perfect equipment as Snowboard Germany in general had arguably the fastest boards today with Konstantin Schad and Martin Noerl finishing fourth and eighth, too.
“It's amazing. Things always seem to happen when you least expect them. We didn't know where we really stand after the change in coaching staff prior to this season. That it worked out so well today is also due to the great work of our wax techs. Our boards were in a league of their own. It's a nice result for the whole team and a nice redemption for all the hard work”, Berg stated.
Best qualifier Adam Lambert (AUS) and Lucas Eguibar (ESP) rounded out the men's podium as second and third respectively making Val Thorens definitely a special place for the young Australian who had surprised the world for the first time a few months ago finishing sixth at the 2017 FIS Snowboard World Championships.
“I made a couple mistakes in the final heat, especially on turn two and turn five. But that's racing. I'm super stoked. It's the best result I ever had, so I won't complain,” he said.
“I knew the course kind of from last year's Europa Cup when I got two first places there. I don't say that the course is the same but I have at least a little bit experience on the fall line,” Lambert, who moved into second of the World Cup Standings, added.
World Cup leader Alex Pullin (AUS), who had celebrated a perfect start to the 2017-18 season with back-to-back wins in Argentina beginning of September defended his World Cup lead (2,400) placing sixth.
The SBX World Cup tour continues this weekend with the season's fourth individual race and first team event slated to take place in Montafon, Austria from December 15 to 17, 2017.