USA Takes 3 Podiums in Team SBX
TELLURIDE, CO (Dec. 18) – USA teams were sending it down the hill Saturday as they took three of the six podiums during the Paul Mitchell Team SBX event in Telluride. Team Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) and Alex Deibold (Manchester Center, VT) were second, team Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) and Jayson Hale (Sierraville, CA) were third, and for the women Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) and Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Girdwood, AK) were third.
"The team event is so much more fun and it adds a whole new aspect with the camaraderie. I hope we can do more of these events," Deibold said.
For Cheever, the added element of a teammate was fun, and helped him to feel that his riding was making progress.
"I had fun and I love the event. I'm happy with my riding and I'm glad to say I'm back," Cheever said.
Baumgartner was in a jovial mood at the finish of the course Saturday. The World Championship bronze medalist qualified first for Friday's SBX event and said perhaps if he had been as relaxed for that as he was the team event, he may have done better.
"This event is so fun. When you're up there you are in a completely different mood. It's relaxed and you're having fun," Baumgartner said. "It's something I need to learn so I can bring that to my snowboardcross. I'm so tense and that's what happened yesterday – I got out of my rhythm and if I'd been having fun I'd have been fine."
Paired up with Hale, Baumgartner gave his teammate a good start out of the gate in the final run, but the racing got so close Hale said it had him sandwiched between riders at certain pints.
"It was a killer race. We all came into turn two about as tight as you can get. Someone got me on the outside and the inside," Hale said.
On the women's side, Jacobellis had a great lead for her portion of the race and said it felt great to be able to charge like that."I was really excited with my riding and my starts because I've always struggled with those. It felt good to have a good race after not doing as well the day before," Jacobellis said.
"This is the best part of the World Cup. I love the team event. It's really mellow, there's no stress or pressure and it's just fun," Chythlook-Sifsof said. "I think the new snow made it tough to get the course dialed and definitely made the terrain slow, but the weekend was amazing and I finally feel back on my game. I can't wait for the next World Cup."
Jacobellis was 100 percent in line with her teammate and has a vision for where the team event could potentially go.
"The team event is so much fun and I think it could be very easily added to the Olympics in a same gender format as well as male and female teams," Jacobellis said. "It would give us two more chances to win medals and brings us a whole new level of teamwork."
The Paul Mitchell Team SBX marks the end of the Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup weekend in Telluride, and athletes will be off the rest of the year as they look forward to more riding in 2011.