SAN CANDIDO, Italy — The U.S. men dominated the winner’s platform Wednesday in giant slalom competition on the second day of the FIS World Snowboard Championships. Reigning FIS World Cup GS Champion Mike Jacoby (Hood River, Ore.) added a silver medal to his growing collection of GS honors, while Ian Price (Manchester Center, Vt.) won the bronze in his first FIS World Championships.
Countrymen went wild in the finish area as Thomas Prugger of Italy won the gold, his first international career victory. Jacoby adds this silver to the silver medal he won in GS at the 1996 World Snowboard Championships in Lienz, Austria.
“A lot of guys would have liked to have placed second today, but I got it,” said Jacoby. “It just so happens that last year I also placed second in the World Championships, and this year I got second again. I’m very pleased with my silver medal – I’m proud of it. I’m so glad to have been able to come here and stand on the podium. Second is better than third, and third is better than fourth…but there’s one more place to go, and that’s up…and this time next year at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan I hope I can do that.”
Jacoby’s first run was practically bullet-proof, as rider after rider came down unable to beat his time. When Prugger, starting 25th, came through the finish area in first place, Italian fans went wild. “I just ate some lasagne and relaxed,” said Jacoby of his activities between runs. “Last year at the World Championships I was really keyed up and nervous between runs, but this year I was really relaxed.
“My second run was pretty good for me,” said Jacoby. “I felt good running 14th in the second run because I knew the snow would be packed down, and the course would be a little faster. Everything felt really smooth. I don’t remember my run, to tell you the truth! I was just in another zone. At the end, I almost missed the second-to-the-last gate, and I had to make a major check to get it.”
“My first run I just went out and tried to give it 100%,” said Price, who rides on the International Snowboard Federation’s World Cup circuit, and is competing for the first time this year on the International Ski Federation snowboard tour. “I made a mistake at the finish – I didn’t think it the course was quite as turny as it was. So I made a mistake and lost some time. And so the second time I just charged it…I made a little mistake at the pitch, but I made up a lot of time, and I feel really good about the second run. It was fun – it was fast, and I really enjoyed it.”
World Championships competition continues Thursday with the men’s and women’s slalom.
Notes…At the winner’s press conference following the awards ceremony, a foreign journalist asked Price and Jacoby what was the key to the American’s success. Jacoby answered: “Well, in the U.S. we have speed limits, and the only time we can legally speed is on the race course”…Rob Berney (Whitefish, Mont.) competed Wednesday with two broken fingers and a broken hand in a cast. He sustained the injuries in a crash in Lenggries, Germany two weeks previously. “It’s no big deal,” said Berney casually about his injuries. He finished 13th.
Men’s Giant Slalom Results
1. Thomas Prugger, Italy, 2:12.86
2. Mike Jacoby, Hood River, Ore., 2:13.75
3. Ian Price, Manchester Center, Vt., 2:13.94
4. Mathieu Bozzetto, France, 2:14.38
5. Nicolas Conte, FRA, 2:14.59
6. Peter Pechhacker, Austria, 2:14.68
7. Mike Kildevaeld, Denmark, 2:14.99
8. Jeff Greenwood, Granby, Conn., 2:15.45
9. Ross Rebagliati, Canada, 2:16.53
10. Harald Walder, Austria, 2:16.70
11. Christopas Segura, France, 2:16.84
12. Peter Pichler, Italy, 2:17.00
13. Rob Berney, Whitefish, Mont., 2:17.37
14. Dieter Moherndl, Germany, 2:17.43
15. Elmar Messner, Italy, 2:17.57
16. Phil Steil, Canada, 2:17.91
17. Thedo Remmelink, The Netherlands, 2:18.12
18. Laurent Besse, France, 2:18.54
19. Markus Ebner, Germany, 2:20.02
20. Andre Grutter, Switzerland, 2:20.05
21. Darren Chalmers, Canada, 2:20.60
22. Andreass Gutknecht, Switzerland, 2:20.67
23. Adrian VanSiebenthal, Switzerland, 2:20.75
24. Mathias Behounek, Germany, 2:20.79
25. Jacob Bergstedt, Sweden, 2:21.39
26. Stephen Godwin, Canada, 2:22.25
27. Brett Tippie, Canada, 2:22.26
28. Brad Zapisocky, Canada, 2:22.30
29. Janne Kaitala, Finland, 2:22.74
30. Dejan Kosir, Slovenia, 2:23.08
Other U.S. Riders
DNF: Tom Lyman, Whitefish, Mont.
DNS (2nd Run): Steve Persons, Whitefish, Mont.
DSQ: Chris Klug, Aspen, Colo.