Maelle Ricker and Alex Pullin clinch World Championships title in Snowboard Cross
Maelle Ricker (CAN) and Alex Pullin (AUS) have won Snowboard Cross Gold at the 10th FIS Snowboard World Championships which are currently staged in Stoneham, Quebec, Canada.
As a result of some tight and exciting racing on the perfectly shaped, 1,003 metres long course, some new chapters have been added to the World Championships history books.
Reigning Olympic Champion and also fastest women of the qualifiers Ricker celebrated the first ever WCS Gold of a female Canadian in this event, right ahead of her fellow country woman Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Helene Olafsen (NOR), who competed in her first snowboard cross race since Telluride 2010 due to focusing mainly on slopestyle before.
“I'm very happy,” said the 34-years-old from Squamish, B.C.
“I really wanted this title. And I'm very happy to be on the podium with Dominique (Maltais) together.
I felt her breathing down my neck in the finals. So I gave everything to cross the finish line first.”
Back to back for Pullin
On the men's side, also some historical facts took place.
Alex Pullin became the first ever male snowboard cross rider to successfully defend his World Championships title.
The fastest man of Thursday's time trials edged off 2009 World Champion Markus Schairer in a tight and enthralling final to the second spot.
“It was a fantastic race on the best course I have ridden so far,” noted Pullin.
“This title means everything to me. It's something that last for two years, something that lasts for history. Those are the ones I really can proudly look back on at the end of my days.
It's big. They come only every two years. Having won already, anything less than first today would have been a little bit disappointing,” explained the rider from down under.
As Stian Sivertzen (NOR) claimed Bronze in the men's final, his first WCS medal ever, it was also the first podium since 2003 without an US-American rider to finish in the top-3.
The second World Championships on Canadian soil after Whistler, BC, 2005, will conclude tomorrow with the medal decision in the parallel slalom.