US-American team members Lindsey Jacobellis and Nate Holland have clinched victory at
the 2010’s first Snowboard Cross of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. In the ladies’ final
on the Bucheben slope, the 2009 World Championships runner-up relegated reigning World
Champion Helene Olafsen (NOR) and Sandra Frei (SUI) to the second and third spot
respectively. Nelly Moenne Loccoz from France had to settle for the ungrateful fourth rank.
On the men’s side Holland edged World Cup leader Pierre Vaultier (FRA) and Mario Fuchs
(AUT) to second and third while World Champion Markus Schairer (AUT) finished fourth.
However, Nate Holland benefitted from a crash of Vaultier and Schairer who went down in
the first steep bank after the Austrian had landed on the tail of the Frenchman’s board. “Both
had me after the start so I had to stay patient and wait for my chance. When both went down
I took it” the 31-years-old said.
But in the end, Holland wasn’t really interested in how he clinched his career’s third victory
for which he had to wait for four and a half years (Saas-Fee, 2005) but what it meant for
him: “This totally amps me for the Olympics. I’m so stoked. This is my one way ticket to
Vancouver. I dropped the hammer and survived. It was a course which I like – with a lot of
body contact. And I know how to play this game.”
However, he almost could have lost the “game” if the race track would have been some 50
metres longer as Pierre Vaultier had quickly gained the momentum back after the crash.
The 23-years-old rode super fast, passed Mario Fuchs right before the last corner jump and
almost catched up with Holland before the US-boy was able to secure victory. “It was a
super nice race on this course. My goal was to win but after I went down I had to aim for
something new. So I tried to catch the others which almost worked out” Vaultier said.
Enthralling ladies’ final
While the men’s final was characterised by the crash of two protagonists, the ladies’ final
brought up a massive battle between two riders. It went back and fore in the duel of Lindsey
Jacobellis and Helene Olafsen – with the better end for Jacobellis. “When we headed for the
first steep bank I took myself back as I had some problems with this turn in my heats before
and almost fell. So I decided to find my speed somewhere else.”
In addition the fastest and third fastest athletes of the qualification had some body contact
which “more or less stabilised both of us” so the 2006 Olympic silver medallist from the
In the end, the 24-years-old gained a decisive lead securing her World Cup career’s 20th
victory, her fourth in Bad Gastein after 2004, 2008 and 2009. “I always have good luck here
and do well here. I’m happy to start my year like this.”
In addition, second ranked Helene Olafsen was also pretty stoked with her day although the
defeat in the final was a very close one. “Lindsey (Jacobellis) was simply faster. I made a
mistake and almost fell. This is my season’s first podium result so I’m happy” the 19-yearsold
The next snowboard cross is scheduled for next week. On January 14th (qualifiers) and 15th
(finals), Veysonnaz hosts the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season’s fourth SBX race.