Faye Gulini, 2nd in Cervinia SBX
Snowboardcross teams from around the world have been battling it out to see who will be first in Italy. The real excitement at Cervinia was the stiff competition on the women’s side. Friday after qualifications were finished, the U.S. women’s team had a solid showing—especially of note was Lindsey Jacobellis, qualifying in second place. A particularly impressive position after coming out of a serious elbow injury and surgery only a month ago; Faye Gulini qualified in fourth.
On Saturday the sun was bright and the sky clear, but tensions were high. Team U.S.A.’s own Faye Gulini and Lindsey Jacobellis would be battling it out with Michela Moioli from Italy, and Belle Brockhoff from Austria.
Right out of the gate it was a tight race, each athlete giving it everything they had. Into the first large turn it was Moioli in first, Gulini in second, Jacobellis in third, and Brockhoff in fourth. Moioli got the inside line for the next turn with Gulini right next to her. Jacobellis got pushed a little wide and had to make an evasive maneuver not to run into her teammate which would ultimately slow her down and allow a window for Brockhoff to sneak through in the next few turns. Through the next couple of jumps and turns the battle for first place continued between Moioli and Guliui, each trading position for the leader of the pack.
It came all the way down to the wire and a literal photo finish at the end with Moioli taking the top podium spot by quarter-inch of a board length in front of Gulini. Brockhoff took third and Jacobellis finished in fourth place, crossing the finish line fractions of a second behind. If you didn’t catch this live, it is worth watching, a few times. This is the sort of competition that we want to see, and looking at the passion and drive these athletes have I have no doubt we will see more to come!
On the U.S. men’s side of things, they had a difficult showing and tough competition with Hagen Kearney and Mick Dierdorff in the top 20 after qualifications on Friday. But they were unable to keep the momentum going for the rest of the qualifying runs.
Now the U.S. team will head home for the holidays for a little rest and relaxation before the next race in deep in Siberia, where we will open the New Year with back-to-back races in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on January 8 and 9.