Baumgartner Third in Secret Garden SBX
The U.S. snowboardcross team came into this first World Cup of the season following a stellar 2020-21 season, which included the team winning the Nation’s Cup and earning the title of the best snowboardcross team of the season. Nick Baumgartner kept the momentum going into this season, earning a third-place finish in a heated men’s final in the season-opening FIS World Cup.
For the Secret Garden Olympic test event, the riders competed on a course almost identical to the planned Olympic course, with 45 features set along the 4,110-foot-long course. The start gate of finals was a stacked field, with Austrian Alessandro Haemmerle taking the lead early, leaving Baumgartner to battle against Italian veteran Omar Visintin, and Austrian Jakob Dusek. Baumgartner was sitting in the second position until the final set of rollers, where Visintin was able to overtake him for second, with Haemmerle taking the win.
Head Snowboardcross Coach Peter Foley says, “It was so great to see Nick lead the team to the podium today. The races were really close all day with a bunch of passing in every heat. Nick made some amazing passes and rode rock solid all day.”
U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Mick Dierdorff was on track to make the big final but was pushed off course in the semi-final. He still had a great finish earning sixth in the small final.
In the women’s field, U.S. Snowboard Team athletes Stacy Gaskill earned an eighth-place finish, followed by Faye Gulini rounding out the top 10. The Czechoslovakian 2018 Olympic bronze medallist Eva Samkova took the win, followed by Great Britain’s World Champion Charlotte Bankes, and Italian 2018 Olympic champion Michela Moioli.
The Secret Garden Olympic SBX Test Event was a great preview of the Olympic course to come. Foley says, “The course is an interesting combination of both gliding skills and power, so it takes a really well-rounded and incredibly strong snowboarder to do well here.” He adds, “The wax tech crew did an amazing job of finding the fast wax, working past midnight pretty much every day this week.”
The team now heads back to Europe for the next stop in Montafon, Austria, December 10–11 with single and mixed-team events slated.