X Games | Nate Holland reclaims boardercross gold; Visconti bronze in Snow Street | SierraSun.com

X Games | Nate Holland reclaims boardercross gold; Visconti bronze in Snow Street

Michael Appelgate
The Aspen Times
Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN ImagesStian Sivertsen, right, catches an edge and takes a header as Squaw Valley's Nate Holland, center, and Pierre Vaultier manage to avoid the crash during the men's boardercross finals Saturday. Holland went on to win his seventh gold medal in the event.
Eric Lars Bakke /ESPN Images | Eric Lars Bakke /ESPN Images

ASPEN, Colo. and#8212; Monday, six-time Winter X boardercross gold medalist Nate Holland tweeted: and#8220;XGames here I come and I want my gold back.and#8221;

He admitted that it was a bold claim, but he backed up his words Saturday afternoon.

Holland took the bronze medal last year, snapping his streak of five consecutive victories. This time around, Holland took advantage of a late crash by Stian Sivertzen of Germany and cruised to his seventh Winter X gold.

and#8220;It always feels great to be back on top,and#8221; Holland said. and#8220;It all came down to today, and I knew I had to ride my heart out to back my words up.and#8221;

Nick Baumgartner, last year’s winner, took silver, and Jayson Hale of Sierraville settled for bronze and#8212; his first time on the podium since 2006 and#8212; to complete the U.S. sweep. American Alex Deibold finished fourth.

and#8220;It was my typical X Games race, always scrapping from the back and passing, hoping to get up front,and#8221; said Hale, who, like Holland, avoided the carnage of a crash late in the race. and#8220;I am stoked to be on the podium with these boys. Nate and I haven’t been on a podium together since 2006, so it feels pretty good to be back up here.and#8221;

The final race generated all the drama and chaos that boardercross is known for: Sivertzen took the early lead after Holland mishandled the jumps at the start. According to Holland and Baumgartner, the course seemed to be running faster as the day wore on.

and#8220;I found myself in my usual spot right in Winter X: the middle of the pack,and#8221; Holland said. and#8220;I scouted a bunch of passing and drafting zones, but I just was not able to find a passing zone.and#8221;

Baumgartner struggled to stay on the course as he carried too much speed into the second banked curve. He rode the top of that curve and wound up at the back of the pack with Hale.

and#8220;The speeds changed a lot, and the course got faster,and#8221; Baumgartner said. and#8220;I was on the draft the entire time, and on this course you are going faster than the guys in front of you, but you just can’t get around them. I was just trying to hang on and get myself in a position where if something happened I could capitalize on it.and#8221;

With Sivertzen in the lead, Holland in second and Pierre Vaultier of France creeping up behind Holland, Sivertzen caught an edge toward the bottom of the course. He crashed, taking down Vaultier but giving Holland his opening.

and#8220;Stian went down, and I made it out of the carnage,and#8221; Holland said. and#8220;It was so beautiful to be able to see that finish line without Nick in front of me.and#8221;

With the course clear, Holland took gold easily. Baumgartner and Hale crossed the line soon after.

and#8220;It’s not the way I wanted to get second, but I’ll take it,and#8221; Baumgartner said. and#8220;I have my family here, and everyone was here to watch. I saw my kid at the end, and I said, and#8216;Hey, buddy, I didn’t win.’ And he said, and#8216;Yeah, but you had fun,’ so you can’t beat that.and#8221;

X Games rookie Forest Bailey won the gold medal in Snowboard Street on Thursday, while Ryan Paul earned silver and Nick Visconti of Truckee earned bronze.

The riders competed on street-inspired features such as a metal cargo container, a concrete Jersey barrier and a set of handrails and ledges.

and#8220;I definitely can’t believe it,and#8221; Bailey said in an ESPN interview. and#8220;I never thought I’d even come to X Games in my whole life, but I guess we’re here and I guess gold will do,and#8221; added Bailey, who’s better known for his filming than competing.

During the five-man final, which featured Bailey, Paul, Visconti, Ethan Deiss and Phil Jacques, Bailey’s 270 to frontside on the cargo container was a highlight of the competition.

and#8220;It was probably one of the best rail set-ups I’ve ever ridden,and#8221; Bailey said. and#8220;It was mellow, not super gnarly or super scary, just really fun so everyone could throw down their best tricks.and#8221;

Visconti spent most of the jam session on the rails, performing tricks such as a switch hardway frontside 270 on the down rail, a 270 onto a curved C-rail and frontside 50-50 to 180 out on the cargo container.

and#8220;Forest’s style is unmatched and it was rad just to watch him out there snowboarding today,and#8221; Visconti said. and#8220;Yesterday, while we were all out here in practice, Forest was out getting after it in the powder. He’s a true snowboarder and he deserved the win today.and#8221;

and#8212; Information for this article was used from XGames.com.