A winter wonderland was presented to the snowboard cross fans at Big White Ski Resort, BC today with amounts of snow that makes every wintersportlover’s heart beat faster. Fog and snowfalls have kept organizers quite busy to maintain the course up until race day, but at last, a great show went down at the Barrels & Berms competition in Canada, despite the fog staying throughout the whole finals.
As the competition went on, big names like Lindsey Jacobellis (USA), Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) and Eva Samkova (CZE) did not manage to advance into the big finals.
We saw a tough battle between Olympic Champion and World Cup leader Michela Moioli (ITA), Belle Brockhoff (AUS), Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) and Raffaela Brutto (ITA) go down in the women's big final.
Moioli shot out of the start gate the fastest and managed to take the lead, with the French athlete sitting in second, Brutto in third and Brockhoff in fourth position. The banks of the course where absolutely in the favour of Brockhoff, as she managed to pass Moenne Loccoz, who seemed to struggle and lose speed after the banks. Moioli led the heat sitting comfortably in first from top to finish and after some great passing, Brockhoff, initially in fourth, came in second and Brutto was rounding out the podium.
“It was really foggy, but the course was a lot of fun. It was an old school course with eight turns which made for really tight racing. This morning I really didn’t think that I could win, but I made it and I am super, super happy,” Moioli said after she won the race, also thanking Canada and the organizers at Big White for an amazing job.
Visintin joins Italian podium party
The participants of the big final heat of men were from four different nations. Veteran Omar Visintin (ITA), Alex Deibold (USA), Kalle Koblet (SUI) and young local hero Eliot Grondin (CAN) where in for the mix of the podium spots of the day.
The young Canadian shot out of the start gate like a rocket, making clear that he wanted to grab that maiden win on home soil in front of his home crowd, which he could surely hear cheering at the start. Grondin was in the lead for most of the heat, but after two banks, experienced Visintin was able to generate enough speed to make the pass in the last roller section.
It was still a very tight battle until the end, which the Italian managed to win. Rounding out the podium was Alex Deibold, who sat in third throughout the entire heat.
Omar Visintin commented after the race:”Yeah, it was a really tight race. Eliot was in first almost throughout the entire race, I knew I had to pass him in that second-last turn, it was my only chance and I took it and it was for sure great racing from everyone.”
After today’s competition, of course Michela Moioli keeps the leader bib on the women’s side with a total of 2.800 points, ahead of Brockhoff with 1.900 points. But on the men’s side, Haemmerle grabbed the leader bib back from Lorenzo Sommariva (ITA), who already went out in the very first heat of the day.
Haemmerle made for some great racing today, however did not quite manage to get into the big final. He finished 6th and that was enough for him to steal the yellow bib back with a total of 1.760 points ahead of today’s winner Omar Visintin with 1.690 points, so he's sitting really close.
We are up to another individual competition here in Big White Ski Resort, BC tomorrow, Sunday 26. Finals will start at 11:30 LOC/ 20:30 CET. Qualification will go down as a Pre-Heat qualification format ahead of the race.
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Sunday , Jan 26
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