Valle Nevado (Chile). With exciting head-to-head races in Snowboard Cross racing the 2001/2002 Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup was kicked off today at Valle Nevado, Chile. Xavier Delerue and Karine Ruby made it a French double.

The conditions could have hardly been any better for the first-ever Snowboard FIS World Cup competition in South America. Hard packed snow and pure sunshine made the riders enjoy racing in the season’s first Snowboard Cross.

French rider Xavier Delerue, who usually does not compete in the FIS World Cup, had already been the fastest rider in the qualification and then also triumphed in every heat in the finals. When he met the Canadians Jasey Jay Anderson and Drew Nielsen as well as Juan Beveraggi from Argentina in the final heat, Delerue made it his race again down to the finish line. Only Anderson could close the gap but finally had to leave it with the French.

“I have been around in the area for a photo shoot anyway,” he said. “The course looked great and I like racing on a piste like that so I decided to participate. It was great that Drew joined me for that and it feels good that I could beat Jasey Jay.”

Anderson pulled second ahead of his fellow countryman Nielsen and Beveraggi. “I was following Xavier all the way down, trying to find the best place to pass him,” last season’s SBX World Cup champion said, “but Xavier is very strong. I didn’t have an ideal start so it was really hard. I was on him a couple of times but he just kind of cut me off. My qualifier wasn’t that good so I paid for that with a bad starting position in the final. I enjoyed the course a lot and I liked riding my hard boots. On such a course I can definitely be more precise and more solid. It was even to advantage for alpine equipment (Xavier used soft boots), I just didn’t take advantage of the qualifiers.”

Nielsen had left the other two fight against each other: “It is always good to win,” he said, “But I had a great time watching Xavier and Jasey fight it out from about ten feet behind. They were racing so hard… I really enjoyed it. I was trying to catch up with them but then had to shut it down for the last jump because I crashed pretty badly in the quarter finals so I wanted to cross the line safely today.”

France’s Karine Ruby had been in fourth place after the qualification but then dominated the final all the way through to finally claim the season’s first win. “It feels great and I’m very happy,” she said, “but I’m glad we will have some more training before the season starts again in November. I was a bit scarred today to get injured, especially after that happend to Sandra (Farmand/GER ¿ she broke her ellbow in yesterday’s training). We’re training together so this win is for her… Today’s SBX was the only one I will do until the Olympics ¿ I don’t want to risk injuries.”

Maria Tikhvinskaja from Russia went in second place and was a bit disappointed: “I was first after the start and have put everything into my run but I would have loved to be on the top today and I knew it was possible. However, the smallest mistake costs the win and that’s what happened to me today. If I was second from the start I would have felt better but I knew I could do it. This happened to me before and this is a bit disappointing but there are a lot more races to go…”

Austria’s Brigitte Holaus turned third place in her first-ever World Cup race and she was overwhelmed: “I never thought about the podium when I was at the start today,” the 24-year-old said, “So I’m more than happy. I don’t have World Cup experience so I wanted to check it out and just didn’t feel pressure. I wanted to give my best and that’s what I did so I’m, glad it paid off. I also had this little bit of luck but you always need this in Snowboard Cross. I’m very much looking forward to the next one.”

Lina Christiansson from Sweden for the first time made it to the finals and finished fourth.

The Halfpipe is scheduled for tomorrow.

NOOKIA SNOWBOARD FIS WORLD CUP
presented by D2 Vodafone
Valle Nevado, CHI Sept. 6th, 2001
Snowboard-Cross – Final Ranking Men
1. 1 DELERUE Xavier 1313865 FRA 1000
2. 3 ANDERSON Jasey Jay 1209202 CAN 800
3. 2 NIELSON Drew 1213761 CAN 600
4. 13 BEVERAGGI Juan 1302031 ARG 500
Small Final
5. 5 NANTERMOD Guillaume 1393987 SUI 450
6. 15 CHIQUET Mathieu 1237526 FRA 400
7. 6 BOURGAULT Thomas 1084363 FRA 360
8. 17 BOIVIN Francois 1407276 CAN 320
1/4 Finals
9. 4 LIEN Alexander 1541330 NOR 53.39 290
10. 7 GRUENER Lukas 1089213 AUT 54.11 260
11. 9 GREENWOOD Jeff 1039646 USA 54.70 240
12. 11 MAIER Alexander 1477504 AUT 55.14 220
13. 12 STAROWICZ Lukasz 1218126 POL 55.47 200
14. 14 CHATZIKYRIAKAKIS Markos 1151875 GRE 55.61 180
15. 24 STOCHETTI Francisco 1388458 ARG 1:00.08 160
16. 26 CARVALHO JR. Jose 1079610 BRA 1:01.07 150
1/8 Finals
17. 8 WAINWRIGHT Ben 1117925 CAN 54.50 140
18. 10 ASPMAN Jonas 1225595 SWE 54.79 130
19. 16 STEGGALL Zeke 1176998 AUS 55.78 120

Snowboard-Cross – Final Ranking Women

Final
1. 4 RUBY Karine 1005308 FRA 1000
2. 8 TIKHVINSKAJA Maria 1203867 RUS 800
3. 6 HOLAUS Brigitte 1059933 AUT 600
4. 7 CHRISTIANSSON Lina 1540748 SWE 500
Small Final
5. 2 WICKY Victoria 1708073 FRA 450
6. 5 LAISSUS Marie 1313574 FRA 400
7. 1 FINGERLOS Ursula 1032565 AUT 360
8. 10 BRAY Juliane 1230833 NZE 320
1/4 Finals
9. 3 GUENTHER Doris 1547829 AUT 1:00.33 290
10. 9 VALLEE Dominique 1468774 CAN 1:01.81 260
11. 11 DEMETER Silvia 1405918 RUM 1:05.02 240
12. 12 OTT Lynn 1024805 USA 1:06.08 220
13. 13 DESMARES Nathalie 1244704 FRA 1:06.86 200
14. 14 CLARK RIBEIRO Isabel 1079222 BRA 1:08.83 180
15. 15 GALEANO Carolina 1779368 ARG 1:09.37 160
16. 16 CETERA Claire 1493509 USA 1:09.72 150
Qualifications
17. 21 FONT PUIG Monica 1779465 AND 1:10.45 140
23 SNOW Charlotte 1641434 SUI DNS
34 ROSE Autumn 1126655 USA DNS
36 BARRA Magnolia 1781696 CHI DNS