Lindsey Jacobellis from Stratton Mountain, Vermont, and Alex Pullin from Australia are champions today.
The women’s World Cup snowboard cross race in Valmalenco saw Jacobellis beat out 2010 Winter Olympic gold medalist Maelle Ricker and Dominique Maltais, both Canadians. They finished second and third, respectively. “I knew that I couldn’t get her (Ricker) at the start,” Jacobellis explained, “so I used the semi finals in order to analyse her and find out where I could get her. It was a close course with not much room left, but I made it. I come from a very competitive family. So, every competition I’m in I want to win. I’m happy that I made it.”
Ricker was likewise pleased with her result. “I enjoyed the race and the good conditions,” she said. “I’m just happy that I was finally back on the board after almost one month of no riding. I got off-rhythm in the roller section which you shouldn’t in a heat like this.”
For the men, Pullin, 22, earned Australia’s second World Cup snowboard cross win in history. He beat out Austria’s Marion Fuchs and Mateusz Ligocki of Poland. Albert Schiavon of Italy came in fourth after a close decision. After several passing maneuvers behind Pullin, who scored the hole shot, Pullin, Fuchs and Schiavon came out of the last turn right behind one another as they headed for the final jump. While everyone was fighting for his position, there no space left anymore. Schiavon and Fuchs crashed, with the Italian going over the safety netting and out of the race.
“We were three guys all within half a meter,” explained Fuchs, 33. “There was nothing we could have done to avoid this. We both flew off – with the better ending for me. I landed on the slope and was able to bring home my first ever runner-up finish. That was missing in my collection. It’s a satisfaction after the disappointing Olympics.”
It was a similar payback situation for Pullin, who had to bury all of his Olympic hopes after qualifying in first in Vancouver before crashing down while leading in his eighth finals. “It was a long way from Vancouver for me. The whole last month I was thinking, ‘I have to win this.’ It’s redemption.”
LG Snowboard FIS World Cup
Valmalenco, Italy – Mar. 12, 2010
1. Lindsey Jacobellis (USA)
2. Maelle Ricker (CAN)
3. Dominique Maltais (CAN)
4. Helene Olafsen (NOR)
1. Alex Pullin (AUS)
2. Mario Fuchs (AUT)
3. Mateusz Ligocki (POL)
4. Alberto Schiavon (ITA)