Men promise thrills in snowboard cross medal hunt
With tight corners, multiple rollers and lots of action packed knock out heats, the snowboard cross course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park is anything but dull.
Some tight racing went down today in the ladies' event with some pre-race favourites crashing out, and on Monday the men are expected to bring even more excitement to the slopes of Sochi 2014.
“It's going to be one heck of a show,” said Nick Baumgartner (USA), one of the US American medal hopes. “You're gonna see utter chaos and awesomeness.”
From the 1/8 final onwards on Monday six competitors at a time will launch out of the starting gate side-by-side, jostling each other as they careen down the course in one of the fastest Olympic event featuring multiple competitors on a course at the same time.
The course at Extreme Park is fast and technical, with several series of rollers to navigate followed by steep curves and jump features.
“Having six riders means there's more going on, there's more adrenaline,” said Cameron Bolton (AUS) after the second day of training. “Anything can happen. There's a lot of variables.”
His team mate and two time World champion Alex Pulling, who is hoping to add Olympic champion to his list of accomplishments, agreed that snowboard cross offers no guarantees that past wins can lead to victory at Sochi 2014.
“You've got to take the landing better than the guy in front of you,” he said when asked what it will take to win. “In the six-man heat there's always an unknown (rider) that comes through on the day.”
Competition begins with two seeding runs from 8 AM CET on Monday. The finals are scheduled for 10:30 CET starting with the 1/8 finals.