The X Games champion and Vermont native Lindsey Jacobellis secured the first U.S. win in Telluride on Friday in the USANA Snowboardcross Cup in the opening SBX event of LG FIS Snowboard World Cup. While this is the 24th World Cup victory for Jacobellis out of her 55 career starts, in the entire history of the Telluride World Cup there has never before been an American on the 1st place podium, making this an incredibly significant victory for Lindsey and the U.S.A.
She describes the strategy of her first place run, “I was able to get the hole shot in the first two very easily, getting out of the gate and pumping the features. In the final, I don’t feel like I was the first one out of the gate but I was working the features really well. I just tried to get into the smallest tuck possible as I knew Dominque was right behind me and she carries the freight really well in the flat sections. I just tried to not make any mistakes, hold the line and be patient with all my turns.”
The men’s side of the team had a strong showing as well with 8 riders earning places in the top 20, of which four took top 10 finishes. Nick Baumgartner ended up third in the new six-man heat format behind France’s Pierre Vaultier, who remained undefeated at Telluride. Seth Wescott came in seventh, Jonathan Cheever took eighth and Alex Tuttle brought up the rear with a solid tenth place finish.
When asked about the new six-man heat format Nick exclaimed, “I love it. We do this for ourselves to have fun, for our sponsors and mainly for the fans. We love having people watch us and six man just brings so much action – how could you not love it.”
Listening to Nick Baumgartner’s recap of his final run paints a vivid picture of the intensity in today’s event, “The final was crazy. I went into the chicane turns and made a little mistake and had to go dead straight into one of them and lost all my speed. The only chance I had was to pin it as fast as I could into turn five. I got inside there and I thought I had second but he went to the inside on the second to last jump, I had to go outside a little bit. I made a great move – the best move I made on it all day – but he made a good move too. But he JUST barely edged me out.”
All the athletes had extremely positive things to say about the course at Telluride and the accommodations the resort provided them prior to the race. This support certainly made a huge contribution to the strong showing by the entire U.S. Team.
Lindsey Jacobellis talked about her time spent in Telluride this past summer’s training camp, “It was so nice that Telluride accommodated us for the training camp. Just to come out here to get used to the altitude with two different mini-courses, to try some drills and work with other teammates is extremely beneficial for us.”
Nick Baumgartner has an even more intimate relationship with Telluride, “I love this place! I actually held a season pass here in ’03-04 – this is where it all started for me. The way they treat us is unbelievable. I really wanted to get them a win on the men’s side – they’ve been wanting it and I thought I had it. But I’ll take a podium I’m happy. It’s the first race of the year and I had so much fun.”