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Xavier Delerue and Catherine “Ine” Pøtzl make it two in a row at the second stop of the ISF Boardercross World Tour at Breckenridge.
It was Solden all over again on Breck’s fast, technical, and jump-filled course. Delerue, the stocky and fearless Frenchman, took the men’s final in what has become typical fashion¿he won Thursday’s best-of-two-run qualifier as well as every heat of the main event. Following Delerue were defending ISF World Boardercross Champion Philippe Conte in second and Canada’s Scott Gaffney in third. Seth Wescott, a U.S. Team member and likely one of America’s most well-rounded riders had a strong showing, making it into the final round of a contest that was stacked with international talent.
Austrian Ine Pøtzl, the first lady of what’s now the US 40/Santa Cruz team, was equally in control of the women’s field. Like Delerue, Pøtzl took the time trials and all of her heats. Ine the ISF Women’s World Champion in 2000, was challenged only by Norway’s Line Østvold who nearly made a pass for the win within sight of the finish line. Rounding out the podium was Austria’s Katarina Himmler, who competes in boardercross when her Alpine racing schedule allows for it. Leslee Olson was the top-placing American woman, she wound up in fourth.
When asked how to stop Xavier Delerue’s podium and paycheck binge, Philippe Conte basically threw up his arms. “I don’t know. He’s Xavier is just a really great rider. Once you are behind him you know he won’t make a mistake.” Xavier, the center of attention on Burton’s boardercross team which includes 2000 X-Games and Gravity Games winner Drew Neilson, claims he’s got nothing up his sleeve. “There is no secret,” says the twenty-one year old, “just freeriding.”
Freeriding and having fun while picking up a win here and there has also been the formula of today’s number two women’s finisher Line Østvold. But after placing just behind Pøtzl in consecutive World Tour events and in last season’s world rankings, Line appeared more determined to make a dent in Pøtzl’s advantage. Pøtzl admits she trained hard in the off-season, “But I always do that,” she said.
Today’s event finished just before the gray skies started to unleash a light snow.
In the big air qualifier Matt Gawronski, Todd Richards and Marc Frank Montoya took the top three spots. The top ten riders will compete in the Big Air finals tomorrow at 11:15 AM.
Weather is expected to deteriorate for tomorrow’s halfpipe qualifier.
Saturday, December 9
8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. – Halfpipe Warm-up
9:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. – Men’s Heats 1-3
11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Halfpipe Warm-up
12:50 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Men’s Heats 4-5
2:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. – Women’s Heats 1-2
· Big Air
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Big Air Practice
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Big Air Finals
Sunday, December 10
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Halfpipe Warm-up #1
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Women’s Heat 1
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Halfpipe Warm-up #2
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Men’s Heat 1
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Finalist Warm-up
12:10 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. – Women’s Finals
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Men’s Finals
2:45 p.m. – Vans Final Awards