Samkova and Robanske in top form
Eva Samkova (CZE) and Christopher Robanske (CAN) have showcased an incredible early season form by posting the best times for the first of two snowboard cross races staged during the World Cup opener in Cerro Catedral, Argentina.
The reigning Olympic champion clocked in a time of 1:03.40 on the 1,000 metres long technical course and therefore was almost 1.5 seconds faster than second best qualifier Faye Gulini (USA) who was the only one besides Samkova to stay below a 1:05.
Other girls looking good on the course were five-time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis (USA; 1:05.23), Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA; 1:05.40), Carle Brenneman (CAN; 1:05.54) and Michela Moioli (ITA; 1:05.55).
Over in the men's event, things turned out more tight as the top-12 riders were all within a range of 0.7 seconds.
However, Chris Robanske was strapped to the fastest machine bringing down a 1:00.27 edging off Alex Pullin (AUS; 1:00.33) from the top qualifier spot by only six hundredths of a second.
Lorenzo Sommariva (ITA; 1:00.39), Paul Berg (GER; 1:00.54), Mick Dierdorff (USA; 1:00.65), Jake Vedder (USA; 1:00.66), Omar Visintin (ITA; 1:00.75) and Mr. X Games Nate Holland (USA; 1:00.78) will all lead heats of six in tomorrow's knock out rounds, too.
Finals from the first race of the back-to-back World Cup opener are slated to take place on Saturday, Sept 9, at 12 PM local time (5 PM CET).