Maryhelyn Kirwan 970.728.7404
Tom Watkinson 970.728.7409
By Brad Foley and Scott Smith
USA MEN TAKE FIVE OF TOP TEN SPOTS AT
SBX FINALS AT TELLURIDE SATURDAY
Qualifier Event for 2010 Winter Olympics
Telluride Sole U.S. Stop of World Cup
TELLURIDE, CO (Dec. 19, 2009) – In a qualifier event for the Winter Vancouver Olympics, Ross Powers (Okemo, VT) rode to third at the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross World Cup at Telluride Resort in Colorado on Saturday afternoon, with the 2002 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist’s finish leading a men’s field crammed with American competitors.
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.
Saturday, the U.S. men were led by 2002 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Ross Powers (Okemo, VT), who came in third. Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) and Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) took sixth and seventh respectively. X Games silver medalist Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID), and World Championship bronze medalist Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) marked top speeds with eight and ninth places.
A dynamic, never let you rest snowboardcross course courtesy of Olympic course builder Jeff Ihaksi tested the world's best SBX athletes Saturday as men and women competed at the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross World Cup at Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado.
Torino silver medalist Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT) had her board clipped on the final set of jumps by eventual women’s winner Maelle Ricker (Canada), causing her to crash after a great start in her first heat.
"Lindsey rode great, and I don’t think she did anything wrong,” said U.S. head coach Peter Foley. "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 can’t, but she went down."
Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, UT) won the final qualifying spot for the women’s race Friday and took a career best eighth after getting second in the first heat with Jacobellis.
Fans can stay tuned for news from Telluride at ussnowboarding.com, facebook.com/ussnowboarding and twitter.com/ussnowboarding.
2010 LG FIS SNOWBOARD CROSS WORLD CUP
Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup
Telluride, CO - Dec. 19, 2009
1. Pierre Vaultier, France
2. Robert Fagan, Canada
3. Ross Powers, USA
4. David Bakes, CZE
5. Xavier De Le Rue, France
6. Seth Wescott, USA
7. Nate Holland, USA
8. Graham Watanabe, USA
9. Nick Baumgartner, USA
10. Alberto Schiavon, Italy
1. Maelle Ricker, Canada
2. Simona Meiler, SUI
3. Dominique Maltais, Canada
4. Mellie Francon, SUI
5. Helene Olafsen, Norway
8. Fay Gulini, USA
DNF Lindsey Jacobellis, USA