Snowboardcross Team Closes Out Strong Season in Switzerland
A short, but thrilling FIS Snowboard World Cup snowboardcross season came to a close in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, Saturday and U.S riders finished out the season strong. With four World Cup stops, five races, and an incredibly successful 2019 FIS World Championships, the U.S Snowboardcross Team was in the mix the entire season.
For the women, the Veysonnaz finals could not have been scripted any better, as the six-time FIS World Champion, and three-time World Cup Champion, Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) and Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic came into the final event tied at the top of the overall World Cup SBX standings with 3,400 points each.
Samkova won the event, as Chloe Tespeuch of France finished second, and Michela Moioli of Italy capped of a strong season in third-place. Jacobellis finished fifth after winning the small final. The FIS World Cup standings would finish with Samkova winning the Crystal Globe and Jacobellis in second. Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, Utah) finished a respectable 11th place in Veysonnaz.
Although Jacobellis didn’t take home her fourth World Cup title, she did complete another historic season. Jacobellis, the winningest snowboardcross athlete in history, earned her 30th World Cup victory this season, and her sixth FIS World Championship title in the inaugural team boardercross event with 2019 individual snowboardcross champion Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, Colo.). In addition, Jacobellis found success outside of the World Cup tour successfully hosting the ninth rendition of the Supergirl Snow Pro, providing increased opportunity for female snowboard athletes to follow their dreams. Jacobellis continues to be a staple and leader in the snowboardcross community at 33-years-old.
For the men, Hagen Kearney (Norwood, Colo.) was the top U.S. finisher in fifth-place. U.S. Snowboardcross team mates DIderdorff and Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) finished in 14th and 15th respectively. Lucas Equibar of Spain won as Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria finished second and claimed the Crystal Globe, while Cameron Bolton of Australia closed out the podium in third-place.
Notable U.S. finishes in the World Cup overall standings include 2018 FIS Junior World Champion Jake Vedder (Pickney, Mich.) finishing ninth. Not only did Vedder earn a top-10 finish in the overall standings proving he is in mix with the best in the world, but he also earned his first-ever FIS World Cup podium in Cervinia, Italy, at the first stop of the season. Teammates Dierdorff, Kearney, Alex Deibold (Manchester, Vt.) and veteran Nate Holland (Sandpoint, Idaho) finished 13th, 14th, 16th and 20th respectively.
Holland suggested that, after 16 seasons on the snowboardcross World Cup, he’s likely to be hanging up the race bib and retiring after Saturday’s competition. Last season’s winner in Veysonnaz, Holland has seven World Cup victories, 17 podiums, two world championship podiums, and eight X Games gold medals to his name, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest SBX riders of all-time.
If Holland chooses not to return next season, the U.S. Snowboardcross Team is set to fill the veteran’s void with strong young riders like Vedder, Senna Leith (Vail, Colo.) and Cole Johnson (Reno, Nev.) coming up through the ranks. In addition, Dierdorff, Baumgartner, Kearney, Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, Mass.) and Olympic medalist Alex Deibold continue to prove they can find the podium on any given day. The future is bright for the U.S. Snowboardcross Team.