MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, Calif. (Jan. 11) — Just six days after winning her career first World Cup snowboard cross, Lindsey Jacobellis (Bondville, VT) cruised to victory on an extremely technical SBX course at the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix. On the men’s side, fellow U.S. team rider Nate Holland (Olympic Valley, CA) upset World Championship silver medalist Seth Wescott (Farmington, ME) for the win. Sunday’s race also crowned Jacobellis and Holland national champions along with the $10,000 first place prize.
The Mammoth SBX will air Feb. 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“This course was very long, very big and very tiring, but it was very fun,” said the 18-year-old Jacobellis, who added that training with the U.S. men helped her to the win. “I love to (train with the U.S. men) because they are always pushing to win — I figure if I can be almost right behind them, then I have a chance to win every time and that’s what I want my goal to be.”
Finishing behind Jacobellis was Sarris McComb (Missoula, MT) followed by Dominique Vallee of Canada and Marni Yamada (Seattle, WA). Dave Brumm (Olympic Valley, CA) and Alex Deibold (Manchester Center, VT) went 3-4 for the men.
The Ryan Neptune of Planet Snow Designs built course was also the first national indicator of which riders are looking solid as 2006 Olympic team selection nears. The 2005 Grand Prix series will serve as one of the criteria for determining who will get the starting spots in Turino.
Jacobellis, who was fourth in halfpipe at Mammoth, says she’ll be gunning for Olympic spots on both teams. “I want to go all the way in boarder cross and why not pipe. I love pipe, it can get frustrating sometimes but you’ve got to look over that and be the better rider — I love Mammoth, it was a great week.”
For Holland, who finished fifth in his career first World Cup SBX at Whistler in December, the win was just one step closer to his Olympic dreams.
“I feel great,” said Holland, who said he’d be gunning for gold in 2006. “After my fifth place at the World Cup, I definitely felt my confidence level was strong and needed to put a big finish off, so that’s exactly what I did. I appreciate a course like this that makes you stop and go and break and really tire you out — boy I’m really going to sleep good tonight.”
After leading every heat, Wescott finished just short of Holland and for the first time in four years, he has missed the national title. But the veteran rider had nothing but positive things to say about the day.
“We (Holland and Wescott) were just neck and neck and it felt like I had him by half a board length coming into that first left hand turn and he had the advantage because he was on the outside, even though I was in front of him,” said Wescott, who also competed in halfpipe. “But I had to shut it down because we would have collided right there and I didn’t want to take the contact. It is my type of course — this is definitely pushing the far extremes of what the sport has ever seen so far, so it’s good.”
The Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix concludes Feb. 6-8 at Mountain Creek, New Jersey.
CHEVROLET U.S. SNOWBOARD GRAND PRIX
Mammoth Mountain, Calif. — Jan. 11
Men’s SBX Final
1. Nate Holland, Olympic Valley, Calif.
2. Seth Wescott, Farmington, Maine
3. Dave Brumm, Olympic Valley, Calif.
4. Alex Deibold, Manchester Center, Vt.
5. Jason Hale, Sierraville, Calif.
6. Jeff Greenwood, Boulder, Colo.
7. Mark Schulz, Portland, Ore
8. Ross Trulove, Carbondale, Colo.
Women’s SBX Final
1. Lindsey Jacobellis, Bondville, Vt.
2. Sarris McComb, Missoula, Mont.
3. Dominique Vallee, Quebec
4. Marni Yamada, Seattle, Wash.
5. Dena Melinn, Frisco, Colo.
6. Emma Rahme, Jackson, Wyo.
7. Katie Weinner
8. Sabrina St. Marie