Trespeuch and Pullin kick off new SXB season with a win
Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) and Alex Pullin (AUS) have claimed victory at the Snowboard Cross World Cup opening in Cerro Catedral, Argentina today.
In the first women's final of back-to-back World Cup races in Patagonia, the 2014 Olympic bronze medallist edged off Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) in a photo finish duel to the second rank celebrating her career's second since the 23-year-old French champion had prevailed at the Olympic test event in Bokwang, South Korea last year.
“I feel very good. I'm happy to begin the season like that. It's the second victory of my life on the World Cup tour. I'm very happy,” the French Champion said.
Jacobellis, beaten only by inches after getting the hole shot and leading the heat all the way down to the home stretch, stated:
“The course was no joke as right out of the gate you had to send it. It made you kick everything into gear. It was a great way to start off the season. I'm pretty happy with it.”
The five-time World Champion then also underlined the importance for the scene that the World Cup tour kicked off in September already:
“It's still knocking off all the rust from summer time getting into full race mode. It's really nice that we opened up another stop on the World Cup tour because we need as many races as possible to help our sport grow and develop as the marketing potential behind it is amazing.”
Nelly Moenne Loccoz another member of the French team which had prepared for the season's kick off unlike the most other teams in Chile rounded out the podium in third ending her disappointing streak of eight races without a top-3 result.
“I'm pretty happy. I had a super hard last season with no podium in the individual races at all. So, I'm super happy to be back on the podium, and with Chloe winning the race makes it even better,” Moenne Loccoz said.
Pullin out and away
While the race for the women's win was a thrilling master piece of drafting, the men's final turned out into a one man show as Alex Pullin lived up to the expectations of coming into the knock out rounds as second best qualifier.
The rider from Down Under therefore celebrated his career's eighth ahead of Italy's Emanuel Perathoner and US racer Jonathan Cheever who both had earned their podium spots due to some well-timed passing manoeuvres.
“It's been a super exciting day. It was a really nice environment to go out and race in today. The racing was really close, and the course was great. I'm just very excited that I put down a win. There is no feeling than crossing the line when there is no one in front of you,” said two-time World Champion Pullin.
And also his companions on the podium were happy.
While Perathoner underlined that it's great to walk away with a second rank finish after being forced to handle a bad qualification day and being ranked 45 of 48 finalists, today's first race of the Olympic season became also a special one for Jonathan Cheever who managed to jump on the podium for the fifth time in his long career with the last time dating back to February 2012.
“I'm feeling really good. This is an Olympic qualifier for us. I needed a good result, and it's a long time between my last podium and today. I want to thank my sponsors, the coaches and the crew who helped me to go fast, and I hope that I can repeat it tomorrow,” said Cheever who might have taken a good step to finally fulfil his Olympic dream he is chasing since his World Cup debut back in March 2006.
The FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup tour will continue tomorrow with the second SBX race staged on the 1,000 metres long technical course of Cerro Catedral which became the second Argentinian host to ever host a SBX World Cup since Chapelco back in 2008 and 2009.
Qualifiers are scheduled for 9 AM local time (2 PM CET), finals for 1 PM local time (6 PM CET).
Finals will be broadcasted live on ORF Sport+ and streamed live on nbcsports.com.