LANDGRAAF, Netherlands (Oct. 26) — Adam Smith (Tangent, OR) bettered his No. 2 qualifying spot to win Sunday’s parallel slalom final over Austrians Stefan Kaltschuetz and Siegfried Grabner. Held at SnowWorld in the Dutch-town of Landgraaf, the unique event was the first ever indoor World Cup. It was Smith’s fourth career World Cup final and his first podium.
Swiss riders Daniela Mueli and Ursula Bruhin went 1-2 for the women followed by Marion Posch of Italy. Stacia Hookom (Edwards, CO) retained her qualifying spot, finishing 13th for the best American finish, while teammate Lisa Kosglow (Boulder, CO) was 16th.
“We had a few great days of training here and I felt really comfortable with the snow — I just stuck to my guns and nailed it down, said Smith, who works on a sod farm in Oregon during the off-season. “The man made snow isn’t much different from the stuff we always ride on and it stayed firm throughout the race. I had a good night to sleep on my position after yesterday’s qualification and I felt confident all day.
The indoor venue is complete with a bar and restaurant and the metal walls provided a pulsating echo of music and cheers for a party-like atmosphere that Smith was able to zone out to retain focus.
“The place was crazy, but the races happened so fast that I didn’t even notice the noise. All I saw was the gates and my teammates cheering me on — every time I finished they were there pushing me and giving me confidence into the next run. One of my goals for the season was to get on the podium and it feels pretty good to be on the top.
A big and agile rider at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Smith, the reigning U.S. Slalom Champion, excelled on the short and flat course where each head-to-head race was decided by tenths of seconds. It was his second final of the year after finishing eighth at the World Cup opener in Valle Nevado, Chile. The win moves him into sixth position in the parallel World Cup standings.
“It was a total sprint,” said Alpine Head Coach Nick Smith. “I’ve never seen so many close races. Adam rode great all weekend, he was feeling confident with his training and he carried that into the races. Plus the organizers did a great job, there were more fans here than we’ve ever seen at an outdoor World Cup and it was loud — the place sounded like a hockey arena.”
The second of two World Cup events in consecutive weekends, Landgraaf serves as the hopping off point for the U.S. riders, who return home this week before reconvening at a mid November camp at Copper Mountain, Colorado.
“I’m looking for this victory to make the rest of the team hungry, added Smith. “We need this kind of momentum and I think this will show that it is possible.”
FIS Snowboard World Cup
Landgraaf, NED — Oct. 26
Men’s PSL Final
1. Adam Smith, Tangent, OR
2. Stefan Kaltschuetz, Austria
3. Siegfried Grabner, Austria
4. Daniel Biveson, Sweden
5. Jasey Jay Anderson, Canada
Women’s PSL Final
1. Daniela Mueli, Switzerland
2. Ursula Bruhin, Switzerland
3. Marion Posch, Italy
4. Isabella Dal Balcon, Italy
5. Anna Heiramo, Finland