Ups and downs at Montafon – a recap of the SBX World Cup opener
This season's snowboard cross World Cup opener not only provided some business as usual but also some surprising results as well as some tough set-backs.
While the podium finishes of Eva Samkova (CZE), Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Helene Olafsen (NOR) on the women's side as well as the top-2 men with Markus Schairer (AUT) and Omar Visintin (ITA) wasn't that much of a surprise – Maltais, Schairer and Visintin had earned a top result last winter at Montafon, too – Kevin Hill of Canada earned some respect for his riding bringing home his career's first ever World Cup podium.
Also the team event saw some new faces on top of the podium with Italian girls Raffaella Brutto and Michela Moioli as well as German racers Paul Berg and Konstantin Schad bringin home the first win for their home country.
damn right! thank you paul berg for the awesome performance! watch out for the german team. also the ones that didn't ride today! #wirfuerd
— Konstantin Schad (@konsti_schad) December 8, 2013
Rookie Zoe Bergermann of Canada wrapped up her weekend with her first appearance in a final in the team event finishing in fourth position with fellow countrywoman Carle Brenneman.
However, some teams had already been out of the game or re-formed due to did not starts, crashes and injuries.
While reigning World Champion Alex Pullin decided not to start due to a stiff back, Canada Snowboard pulled one of their top names out of the World Cup races, too. According to a press release Olympic Champion Maelle Ricker suffered a mild concussion in training and has returned to her home in Squamish.
“As the defending World Champion, Maelle has already pre-qualified her spot on the Olympic Team for Sochi,” said Robert Joncas, High Performance Director of Canada Snowboard. “We felt that it was the best decision for Maelle and for the Canadian Team to send her home to speed up her recovery before rejoining us in Lake Louise for the FIS World Cup later this month.”
U.S. Snowboarding has also some athletes hoping for the better at the next World Cup stop of the tour. Nate Holland snapped his clavicle after falling hard in the training sessions.
One day later, Nick Baumgartner also knocked himself out in his preparation run for the team event which equaled a did not start for team Baumgartner/Cheever.
While Michael Hämmerle (AUT) had opened the dark side of the World Cup weekend tearing his ACL in the test run session on Thursday, several other athletes celebrated some great results or nice comebacks.
Lindsey Jacobellis was able to earn a second rank finish in the team event as well as a seventh rank in the single race the day before despite racing with a broken thumb. It was her first race weekend in nearly two years coming back from a long and hard injury break (ACL).
Swiss Marvin James was happy with his best result in his World Cup career coming out 11th. “It was a good start into the season and a boost in confidence for me,” said James.
In addition, also Anton Lindfors (FIN, 6th), Jarryd Hughes (AUS, 8th), Maciej Jodko (POL, 9th) and Matija Mihic (SLO, 10th) impressed with some outstanding results in their careers.
Charlotte Bankes (FRA) celebrated a great World Cup debut finishing 9th in the women's event.