VALMALENCO, Italy - Friday was a strong day for U.S. Snowboarding as Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) led the way for the women with a win and Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) moved into the top spot in SBX standings at a snowboardcross World Cup in Valmalenco, Italy.
Cheever, who had been injured during a training run crash with teammate Alex Deibold (Manchester Center, VT), grabbed the yellow bib after Friday’s race. Right before dropping in for his run, Cheever had eight stitches put into his elbow after colliding with Deibold’s head during a training run.
Despite the injury, Cheever, who rides out of Utah’s Canyons Resort, went on to finish second in a very close race. The top three spots came down to a photo finish. Just edging out Cheever was Italy’s Alberto Schiavon who took the top spot and finishing in third right behind Cheever was teammate Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA).
“I have been racing for a very long time and don’t ever remember a race this close between three athletes.” said Holland. “When I went through the finish line I wanted to raise my hands for the victory because it was so close, but the officials made the right call.”
After Friday’s race Cheever moves into the World Cup lead with two more events to come.
“I love the podium but I am sick of the bridesmaid spot,” said Cheever, who has been second for three competitions in a row. “I am in it to win it for the next couple of events.”
On the women’s side, Jacobellis grabbed the top spot after dealing with some tough conditions over the week. Snow and wind caused the course to slow down during time trials but on the final race day the sun came out and the course sped up setting up making for a great day of racing.
“The course was pretty easy and straight forward” said Jacobellis. “The officials did a great job removing the snow off the course and it made the whole course flow together making it a beautiful day.”
Following Jacobellis on the podium was Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic in second and Deborah Anthonioz of France rounded out the podium in third.
The riders now move onto Arosa, Switzerland for the final two World Cup competitions. Cheever will go into the Swiss resort with the yellow leader’s bib and a shot at the World Cup title with a 400 point lead.
Valmalenco, Italy – March 18, 2011
1. Alberto Schiavon, Italy
2. Jonathan Cheever, Saugus, MA
3. Nate Holland, Squaw Valley, CA
9. Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, MI
11. Alex Deibold, Manchester Center, VT
21. Robert Minghini, South Lake Tahoe, CA
22. Jayson Hale, Sierraville, CA
30. Jarod Minghini, South Lake Tahoe, CA
1. Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton Mountain, VT
2. Eva Samkova, Czech Republic
3. Deborah Anthonioz, France
10. Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Girdwood, AK
19. Jenna Feldman, Linwood, NJ
23. Carrie Uren, Randle, WA