Favourites win in the Snowboard Cross: Lindsey Jacobellis and Xavier Deleruehave won the first decision of the 7th FIS Snowboard World Championships inArosa, Switzerland. In front of 6.500 screaming spectators, the title holderfrom the USA relegated in the ladies final Swiss Sandra Frei, NorwegianHelene Olafsen and Doresia Krings to the following places. On the men’s sideFrench Xavier Delerue dispossessed former World Champion and Olympic Goldmedallist Seth Wescott (USA). Nate Holland (USA) came in third ahead ofVincent Valery (FRA).

“It feels great to successfully defend the title” said Jacobellis after thefinal, although, she almost missed it. In the semi final, she came head tohead towards the finish line with Julie Pomagalski from France winning theduel for the spot in the final by a photo finish: “My start in the semifinal wasn’t the greatest but I fought back through the whole pack. In thefinal, it was way better. I took off right away and had a great ride.”

Her fellow countryman Seth Wescott was close to hold on the title, too, butXavier Delerue didn’t like this idea, although he had second thoughts afterthe time trials: “I had a bad qualification and was worried a lot, because Ihad not that much training after the Olympics. It was my first race sinceTorino. But I wanted to fight as much as I could and gave everything I had.This paid off. I think there was no one who wanted the title that much likeI did.”

Sandra Frei was earning applause and cheering in the finish area, becausethe rider from Flims secured the best result for her team in hear homecountry. Thus, she was obviously happy: “The second rank brings back a lotof self-confidence because I was standing in the shadow of Tanja Frieden thelast months.”

Seth Wescott was also pleased with his silver medal: “I’m happy with theresult, although I have fought for more. I had a bad start gate in the finalrun but did catch up to Xavier. But he was riding too well, so I couldn’tpass him any more.”