Vedder, Jacobellis, Second in Cervinia SBX
Jake Vedder (Pinckney, Mich.) led the way for the U.S. Snowboardcross Team with his first career FIS Snowboard World Cup podium, finishing second in Saturday’s snowboardcross in Cervinia, Italy. In the women’s race, Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) pulled off her 51st World Cup podium performance, finishing second.
“My teammates were really encouraging me all day, and when I got to the bottom everyone just started tackling me,” Vedder laughed. “I couldn’t even believe what happened. I’m ecstatic to be here right now and it was a great day of racing. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Vedder, the 2018 Junior World Champion, came back from fifth position in the big final, taking the inside line late in the race to land on the podium to announced himself as a force on the World Cup stage with his second-place performance. Teammate Nate Holland (Sandpoint, Idaho) got tangled up midway through big final, but rebounded to finish fifth. Italian Emanuel Perathoner topped the podium with Germany’s Martin Noerl in third.
In the women’s race, it looked like Jacobellis would pull off the double victory following her win Friday to add to her all-time record in ladies’ SBX World Cup competition. Jacobellis opened up a huge gap between herself and the pack down the demanding Cervinia track.
However, back in the pack was Sochi 2014 Olympic gold medallist Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic, who kept her sights set on Jacobellis despite the seemingly insurmountable gap through the middle section of the course. Outpumping Jacobellis over the final roller stretch, Samkova edge Jacobellis by a board length at the finish line to claim her 11th career World Cup victory and her second podium in as many days after finishing runner-up to Jacobellis on Friday. Third place on the day went to Italy’s Michela Moioli, the reigning Olympic champion and 2017-18 crystal globe winner who earned her first podium of the young season on home soil.
With the runner-up result, and like Samkova earning a victory and second-place result the past two days, Jacobellis and Samkova are tied atop the FIS snowboardcross World Cup leaderboard through two events.
Both Jacobellis and Vedder achieved their minimum U.S Ski & Snowboard World Championship Team criteria with their respective podium results. Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) also fulfilled his minimum 2019 World Championship Team selection criteria, finishing eighth.
U.S. Development Group member Stacy Gaskill (Golden, Colo.) finished in 12th; Anna Miller (Orem, Utah), Livia Molodyh (Hubbard, Ore.) and Danielle Steinhoff (Colfax, Calif.) finished 16th, 28th and 29th respectively.
The 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships snowboardcross program commences Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at Solitude Mountain Resort. Stay tuned for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard World Championships Team announcement to see what U.S. Snowboardcross Team members will compete in the biggest event to hit Utah since the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.