SAN CANDIDO, Italy — Helmut Pramstaller of Austria won the men’s gold, with Klaus Sammer of Austria second and Sweden’s Jacob Bergstedt third. Rob Kingwill (Jackson, Wyo.) picked up the top U.S. result in the snowboardcross event, finishing fifth on the final day of competition at the FIS World Snowboard Championships.

Snowboardcross, a new World Cup discipline also referred to as “boardercross,” pits four riders against each other as they simultaneously ride down a slope studded with various obstacles (moguls, jumps, gates, etc.). The two competitors who cross the finish line first qualify for the next round of competition in this elimination-format event.

Kingwill and teammate Manuel Mendoza (Whitefish, Mont.) competed in the same heat to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. “This is the most fun boardercross we’ve had all season!” said Mendoza. “I just played it safe to make it to this round finals. The last round, I should have gone for broke, but I didn’t, and Kingwill got me – more power to him!”

In women’s competition, giant slalom world champion Sondra Van Ert (Ketchum, Idaho) was the top U.S. rider, finishing ninth. Karine Ruby of France won gold in Sunday’s event, with Manuela Riegler and Maria Pichler, both of Austria, winning silver and bronze, respectively.

“The hard thing about boardercross is just to go for it as hard as you can,” said Kingwill. “This course was a lot more suited for alpine racers more gates in the course, so I really had to fight for it. In order to have a fast run, I had to go for the air – go for the triple three bumps the riders must clear – and I made it. I’ve never done that before. That’s where I crashed on the run before – it was a real battle between me and another racer…But that’s what makes this fun. That’s what makes this event so good.”

“Boardercross tend to be the event where everybody gets bruised up, so it’s great to have it on the last day — everybody’s going to go for it more and not be worried about other competitions, and people went for it today,” said Mendoza.

The snowboardcross event concludes the FIS World Snowboard Championships. “The World Championships are my favorite part of the whole tour,” said U.S. Snowboard Team freestyle coach Pete Del Giudice. “The athletes are so excited, and the levels are so up mentally. This has been the best part of the whole year, and I’m really proud of what our athletes have done.”

MEN (ELIMINATION FORMAT)

1. Helmut Pramstaller, Austria
2. Klaus Sammer, Austria
3. Jacob Bergstedt, Sweden
4. Ben Wainwright, Canada
5. Rob Kingwill, Jackson, Wyo.
6. Manuel Mendoza, Whitefish, Mont.
7. Alex Voyat, Italy
8. Richard Richardsson, Sweden
9. Pontus Stahlklo, Sweden
10. Dan Smith, Evergreen, Colo.
11. Brett Tippie, Canada
12. Willi Schiedermeier, Germany
13. Tomoki Goto, Japan
14. Willie Rajala, Finland
15. Elmar Messner, Italy
16. Denis Zezin, Russia
17. Darren Chalmers, Canada
18. Dimitri Loginov, Russia
19. Denis Tichomirov, Russia
20. Sandy McDonald, Canada
21. Stefan Mayr, Italy
22. Zach Horwitz, Carbondale, Colo.
23. Ross Powers, S. Londonderry, Vt.
24. Brad Zapisocky, Canada
25. Mike Michealchuk, Canada
26. Rick Bower, Park City, Utah
27. Stephen Copp, Sweden
288. Alexander Koller, Austria
29. Marc Begg, New Zealand
30. Will Wieser, Austria

Other U.S. Riders:
31. Anton Pogue, Hood River, Ore.
38. Jeff Greenwood, Granby, Conn.

WOMEN (ELIMINATION FORMAT)

1. Karine Ruby, France
2. Manuela Riegler, Austria
3. Maria Pichler, Austria
4. Maelle Ricker, Canada
5. Aurelie Tible, France
6. Marie Birkl, Sweden
7. Ursula Fingerlos, Austria
8. Margherita Parini, Italy
9. Sondra Van Ert, Ketchum, Idaho
10. Candice Drouin, Canada
11. Joanna Mularz, Belgium
12. Victoria Jamieson, Great Britain
13. Cammy Potter, Park City, Utah
14. Lynn Ott, Bend, Ore.
15. Alexandra Krings, Austria
16. Martina Rohrmoser, Austria

Other U.S. Rider:
19. Erin O’Mally, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.