Five Americans Qualify for World Championship Snowboardcross Finals
Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) led the U.S. Snowboard Team at the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championship, presented by Toyota, snowboardcross qualifications, finishing second at Solitude Mountain Resort Thursday.
“The course was pretty tough today,” said Dierdorff. “A couple of the turns didn’t set up all the way overnight, which made for some sugary conditions. One of the things I was really happy with in my run was my start. I had quick feet and felt like I really took off. I laced some of the turns, bombed across the finish line. Over the past few years, I have come to expect to be in that top five when I really lay it down. I knew coming out of the second to last turn that I put it all together. It’s always a good feeling to hear the announcer say that there’s a new leader. I was excited to hear that and it took a lot of weight off my shoulders.”
Following Dierdorff was 2018 Junior World Champion Jake Vedder (Pickney, Mich.) in sixth.
“I’m stoked to be in top-10 heading into (Friday's) finals,” said Vedder. “It’s going to be an awesome day. Today, I was lucky enough to drop first, which I have never done before in qualifications. They had just raked the turns and made them smoother for us, but for the rest of the guys, it was getting a lot bumpier. By tomorrow it should be iced over and perfect. It’s amazing to be on home soil and have four U.S. riders in the top ten. Also, It means the world to me to be part of the U.S. FIS World Championships Team. I am here to be the best in the world and that’s what we are going for tomorrow.”
Following Dierdorff and Vedder was eight-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, Calif.) finishing seventh, and three-time World Championships medalist Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) in eighth. With all four U.S. men making it through to finals on their first run, it is anyone’s game rolling into Friday’s final round of competition.
For the ladies, defending World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) qualified in fifth among the best riders in the world.
“It was great to be on U.S. soil and back at Solitude,” said Jacobellis. “Today’s course was fast and fun and I am excited to get into heats tomorrow.”
Jacobellis will be striving for her sixth World Championship victory. However, that milestone will not come easy competing against 2018 PyeongChang Olympic medalists Michela Moioli of Italy, Julia Pereira De Sousa Mabileau of France, and bronze medalist Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic. Tune in on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold to watch finals Friday.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - FIS World Championships men and women’s snowboardcross - Solitude, Utah - NBCSN & NBC Sports Gold