Maltais and Wescott clinch Snowboard Cross World Cup in Telluride
Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Seth Wescott (USA) have clinched the season's second snowboard cross race of the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Cup tour in Telluride, Colorado.
On the men's side, Wescott celebrated his career's third World Cup victory in a photo finish.
Unlike two years ago, when the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Champion had lost a similarly close race in Telluride to Pierre Vaultier (FRA), the SBX veteran had the luck on his side today crossing the finish line just a few inches ahead of reigning World Champion Alex Pullin (AUS).
“I love courses like this one. This is why I have done well here and also in Arosa. When you can pull out of the start and only try to search for speed that's when I ride the best,” aid Wescott after his career's third World Cup win.
As close as it might get
“At the same time, courses like that usually end up allowing for really close finishes because everyone is working for that speed.”
And all four finalists did work as hard as they could passing each other all the way down from top of the course till the very end.
“I had a horrible final jump and that was what got me that other year, when Pierre got me. And I knuckled again here and I was just trying to get to that finish line like 'please don't have this happen again',” recapped the 36-years-old the heart beat final which also served a perfect outcome for runner-up Alex Pullin.
“It was an absolutely incredible day of racing. The course was perfect. To share it with legends like Seth Wescott who was the guy who brought me into the sport watching him win the World Championship title in Whistler a few years ago is just awesome.
There were passes the whole way down. It was the best feeling, best racing. I feel that I really earned that one. I'm just looking so much forward to the rest of the season.”
And just like the defending World Champion from Australia, also Wescott, who qualified 29th, is in a good mood for the upcoming tasks.
“The World Cup win is really good. It's been a hard last year for me coming back from that bad injury (torn breast muscle in Veysonnaz, Switzerland). It's been a long road to be back where I am now again.
I love the World Championships, I love the Olympics, I like the big days. Stoneham is kind of a home race for me, it's only three hours from home. I'm looking forward to it.”
Maltais keeps on dominating
While the men's final was really unsurpassable thrilling-wise, the women's final was a clear thing for Dominique Maltais.
The World Cup title defender came out first out of the first turn and kept the lead until the finish located right down in the Telluride Mountain Village at the end of Misty Maiden.
With her back-to-back win earned in an absolutely impressive way dominating the course built by Jeff Ihaksi (CAN) ahead of her fellow countrywoman Maelle Ricker (CAN) and Alexandra Jekova (BUL), the rider from Quebec is now the top favourite for Gold at the World Championships in her home country.
“I guess the people are expecting a lot from me at the World Championships. So, the pressure was there before the two recent World Cup wins already. That's good as it is also a very good preparation for Sochi,” told Maltais.
“I'm really happy. It was tough today because the conditions were changing a lot. I had to improvise in the finals but I guess I did pretty good.”
World Cup leaders still ahead
At least good enough to keep hold on the World Cup lead with a maximum of so far 2,000 points.
On the men's side, Omar Visintin (ITA), who finished eighth today, still has the leading position in the race for the men's Crystal Globe with 1,320 points. However the Montafon winner faces some tough competition with Pullin sitting in second only 20 points behind (1,300).
The Snowboard Cross World Cup tour continues tomorrow with the season's second Team SBX event in Telluride at 1 PM local time.