World Cup snowboardcross: Nate Holland 7th in Telluride
TELLURIDE, Colo. and#8212; Ross Powers rode to third at the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross World Cup at Telluride Resort in Colorado on Saturday afternoon, while Squaw Valley rider Nate Holland finished seventh.
Powers, owner of more halfpipe titles than any snowboarder in history, furthered his bid to medal in another discipline by making the podium in the second of five Olympic qualifications for the men.
and#8220;The first few rounds went great; I was getting good starts up top,and#8221; Powers said. and#8220;Final race, Iand#8217;d been getting great starts all day, and got a bad start up top. I tried to catch up, landed flat on everything, but luckily the guys had a little mix-up on turn four and I came through and got on the podium.and#8221;
Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott was sixth for the men, taking second in a small final that featured three Americans. Graham Watanabe crashed early and placed eighth, while Shaun Palmer of South Lake Tahoe was 21st.
For Holland, the knowledge that Watanabe was out and he had nothing to lose led to a nasty landing later in the race.
and#8220;That fifth was still pretty important to me. I really wanted that heat,and#8221; said Holland, a five-time X Games gold medalist. and#8220;So I made a pass in turn three on Wescott and just went into turn four with Xavier de la Rue just head-to-head. I know heand#8217;s fast and in control, so I trusted him.and#8221;
Holland touched de la Rueand#8217;s board and lost balance before a jump on the fastest part of the course.
and#8220;It scared the crap out of me in the air,and#8221; Holland said. and#8220;I had time to think about how bad it was going to hurt. Luckily I had time enough to squirm a little bit and get the feet down first and take some of the compression.and#8221;
In the womenand#8217;s competition, Torino silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis had her board clipped on the final set of jumps by eventual womenand#8217;s winner Maelle Ricker of Canada, causing her to crash after a great start in her first heat.
and#8220;Lindsey rode great, and I donand#8217;t think she did anything wrong,and#8221; said U.S. Snowboarding Head Coach Peter Foley. and#8220;She had a great race, she smoked the top, she and Maelle just tangled it up. Sometimes you can stay on your feet and sometimes you canand#8217;t, but she went down.and#8221;
Faye Gulini of Salt Lake City won the final qualifying spot for the womenand#8217;s race Friday and took a career best eighth after getting second in the first heat with Jacobellis.
Three World Cup events remain for Olympic Team qualifying, Jan. 10-21 in Austria, Switzerland and Quebec.
2010 LG FIS SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP
Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup
Telluride, CO – Dec. 19, 2009
1. Pierre Vaultier, France
2. Robert Fagan, Canada
3. Ross Powers, Okemo, VT
4. David Bakes, Czech Republic
5. Xavier de le Rue, France
6. Seth Wescott, Sugarloaf, ME
7. Nate Holland, Squaw Valley, CA
8. Graham Watanabe, Sun Valley, ID
9. Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, MI
11. Alex Deibold, New Haven, CT
16. J.J. Tomlinson, Park City, UT
21. Shaun Palmer, South Lake Tahoe, CA
31. Robert Minghini, South Lake Tahoe, CA
1. Maelle Ricker, Canada
2. Simona Meiler, Switzerland
3. Dominique Maltais, Canada
5. Mellie Francon, Switzerland
5. Helene Olafsen, Norway
8. Faye Gulini, Salt Lake City
11. Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton, VT