2010 Olympics watch: Nate Holland wins World Cup snowboardcross | SierraSun.com

2010 Olympics watch: Nate Holland wins World Cup snowboardcross

USSA report

Kerstin Joensson/AP PhotoNate Holland of Squaw Valley leads the field during a World Cup men's snowboardcross final in Bad Gastein in the Austrian province of Salzburg on Sunday.

BAD GASTEIN, Austria and#8212; It wasn’t a question of if, as much as when, Squaw Valley snowboarder Nate Holland and Lindsey Jacobellis were going to shred their way to a podium. That question was answered Sunday as both won the snowboardcross World Cup in Austria.

“This totally amps me for the Olympics and#8211; it’s my ticket to Vancouver! ” said Holland, who wore a 2006 jersey under his racing suit for luck. “I dropped the hammer and survived. It was a course which I like and#8211; with a lot of body contact. And I know how to play this game”

Holland led, followed in second by Pierre Vaultier of France and Mario Fuchs of Austria in third. The World Cup win marked the third of Holland’s career.

For Jacobellis, the win was much anticipated and comes with a bit of relief and a lot of excitement.

“I’m stoked. I definitely needed that. I’ve been in kindof a little slump lately, and this felt great,” Jacobellis said. “It takes off a lot of the pressure that this has happened. It supports my confidence and helps me go into the next one.”

Joining Jacobellis on the podium were Helene Olafsen of Norway in second and Switzerland’s Sandra Frei in third.

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According to the X Games gold medalist, a huge part of the race was being able to make it through a difficult first bank turn.

“I was having trouble with the first bank turn because there was so much g force going in and the pressure all builds up at the end. For finals I was worried about that and thought if I just give it a little more belly of room I won’t have so much pressure,” Jacobellis said. “It’s a sketchy thing to do because you’re opening up the door for someone else, but I felt like I had a good holeshot.”

And, of course, someone tried to make the pass. If it weren’t for some quick maneuvering and patience, Jacobellis could have gone down.

“Helene [Olafsen, Norway] tried to come inside and she buckled at the waist, and almost crashed into me. I grabbed her and picked her up so she didn’t fall because it would have taken me out, too,” Jacobellis said. “So then I was just shadowing her down through the next turn and over the jump. But she got squirley going over the rollers and that’s when I took the opportunity to pass her on the left side. It was smooth sailing from there.”

And, as a special gift for her win, Jacobellis got to hear the Star Spangled Banner twice.

“They had to play the national anthem twice for me. I had to go up and get my stuff from the start, so they played it twice while I came down,” Jacobellis said.

While the spotlight was on Holland and Jacobellis, two other Americans cracked the top 10. Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) was eighth in the men’s, as was Ski and Snowboard Club Vail rider Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City).

Two events remain in the Olympic qualifying period and no spots have been mathematically clinched. The World Cup heads to Switzerland Friday with a final event in Canada Jan. 21 before the team is named Jan. 25.

2010 LG FIS SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP

Bad Gastein, Austria – Jan. 10, 2010

Snowboardcross

Men

1. Nate Holland, Squaw Valley, CA

2. Pierre Vaultier, France

3. Mario Fuchs, Austria

4. Markus Schairer, Austria

5. Tony Ramoin, France

8. Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, MI

19. Shaun Palmer, South Lake Tahoe, CA

20. Graham Watanabe, Sun Valley, ID

24. Ross Powers, Okemo, VT

26. Jonathan Cheever, Saugus, MA

33. Pat Holland, Squaw Valley, CA

52. Mick Dierdorff, Steamboat Springs, CO

54. Jason Smith, Basalt, CO

56. Seth Wescott, Sugarloaf, ME

Women

1. Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton, VT

2. Helene Olafsen, Norway

3. Sandra Frei, Switzerland

4. Nelly Moenne Loccoz, France

5. Mellie Francon, Switzerland

8. Faye Gulini, Salt Lake City

16. Callan Chythlook Sifsof, Girdwood, AK