Samkova and Haemmerle prevail in Solitude sbx
Eva Samkova (CZE) and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) have claimed victory in this season's second snowboard cross event which was staged at Solitude Mountain Resort today where the field of 24 women and 48 men did not only battle head to head in heats of six but also with the weather situation.
Heavy snow fall and challenging wind conditions at the venue of the 2019 sbx world championships decisions had forced Race Organisers to postpone the start of the finals several times after some of the teams did have some problems making it to the resort.
A massive snowstorm had heavily impacted the only access road through Big Cottonwood Canyon.
However, after a delay of 90 minutes, there was some racing going on which featured the tight finals everyone was hoping for.
In the women's finals, Samkova rode her own race controlling the field from the front and keeping herself out of the battles for the positions and lines finally snatching her career's sixth in dominant fashion.
“The first days were perfect but today was tricky. We almost didn't get up the hill because the traffic was crazy. But we made it and waited a little bit. Finally we were able to race. It was nice but everything was different compared to training and qualifiers. I'm really happy,” Samkova said.
Thursday's best qualifier therefore also took over the lead from Belle Brockhoff (AUS), who finished sixth today, in the World Cup standings being in front with 1,400 points now.
Michela Moioli (ITA) and four-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) rounded out the women's podium as second and third.
The top-3 men in SOlitude © Sarah Brunson
In the men's event, Alessandro Haemmerle came out victorious of a nail-biting final edging off new World Cup leader Omar Visintin (ITA) to the second rank.
“The day started pretty weird. It took us three hours to come up her but then it all ended up fine. Racing was tough. It was very difficult with the snow fall and wind.
But once you had the feeling for the course you were just going for it. And I was fortunate to take home that win,” Haemmerle stated after securing his career's third in a breathtaking showdown.
In fact, things could have ended the other way round with him missing out the win as the decision between him and Visintin was a photo finish decision.
Second race, second again. I guess that's good, also there was just a few centimetres missing in a tough race,” commented Visintin.
The 2014 sbx World Cup title winner took over the lead in the race for the Crystal Globe with his second consecutive runner-up finish and now 1,600 points in his pocket.
Alex Deibold (USA) rounded out the men's podium in third admitting that he likes those adverse weather competitions:
“It was challenging conditions. But you know, I tend to do well in adverse weather growing up in New England.
I think the snow brought the pressure down a little bit. It seemed to be a little bit less tense up there. I just rode my own race. I'm just so stoked I was able to put it together.”
The snowboard cross World Cup tour continues tomorrow in Solitude with this season's second sbx team event scheduled at 8 PM CET.
Several TV stations will broadcast the race live. Check here for an overview.
Full results of this season's second snowboard cross World Cup staged at the Solitude Mountain Resort today can be viewed online.