Snowboarding

Holland Wins Olympic Test Event

by
USSA
2016-02-27 09:48
 

BOKWANG, South Korea (Feb. 27, 2016) – The American snowboardcross men dominated at the official Olympic test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, where Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) took the win and Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) was third. Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) made the women’s final, finishing just off the podium in fourth.

Holland has had great success in his snowboardcross career, including seven X Games gold medals, but it was his first World Cup win in four years, when he won at Veysonnaz, Switzerland. It was a big win for the 37 year old, who was sidelined for the first part of the season with injury.

Holland

Nate Holland won his first snowboard cross win in four years Saturday (U.S. Snowboarding)

“This season’s been brutal for me,” Holland said. “I sprained my pelvis in December and basically sat on a couch for a month so I’m not the strongest I’ve been and I still have some hip pain. It’s a long injury but I just have to wake up early and get the bones moving—once you’re in the gate all that goes away.”

Baumgartner overcame a low qualifying result to make it all the way to a World Cup podium for the 12th time in his career.

“Today was unbelievable,” he said. “I started out wearing bib 34, so I wasn’t super stoked on my time trial. I didn’t get to pick my lane all day. I only got the outsides, but I think I was winning every heat going down the first straightaway after turn one. I had great starts. Are you kidding me? I’m 34 years old—to beat these young kids at starts? That’s exactly what I wanted. I trained all summer for that and it’s paying off. I couldn’t be more stoked.”

By all accounts the 2018 Olympic event is sure to be an exciting one, as the athletes are very happy with the course, which is big with lots of passing opportunities.

Podium

Nate Holland bounced back from early season injuries to win Saturday. (U.S. Snowboarding)

“This venue kicks a**,” Holland said. “The slope is perfect, the jumps were big and there are some tactics and strategy involved. I like courses that are big and wide open with strategy—it makes you think a little more versus a holeshot scenario. And I’m stoked to see that this hill has the DNA of tactics, big jumps and fast speeds.”

American Alex Deibold (Boulder, CO) placed 5th in the big final, Robert Minghini (Snowshoe, WV) placed 12th out of the small final, Hagen Kearney (Telluride, CO) was 18th, Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 28th and Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) was 32nd.

The American women were very close to making the podium. Though she didn’t get the start she wanted, Jacobellis made the final and was in a good race position until she cased the last double coming into the finish. It looked like Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, UT) was going to make the final, winning the lead-up heat until she knocked boards with someone. She finished ninth out of the small final. Meghan Tierney (Edwards, CO) finished 12th and Rosina Mancari (Anchorage, AK) was 16th.  

The next stop of the snowboardcross World cup tour is in Veysonnaz, Switzerland March 4-6.  

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nate Holland won. It was his first World Cup win in four years, his 16th career World Cup podium.
  • Nick Baumgartner was third. It was his 12th career World Cup podium.

 

QUOTES

Nate Holland
Today went killer, it’s always different to show up to a hill you haven’t raced, you never really know what to expect. But this venue kicks ass—the slope is perfect, the jumps were big and there are some tactics and strategy involved. I like courses that are big and wide open with strategy—it makes you think a little more versus a holeshot scenario. And I’m stoked to see that this hill has the DNA of tactics, big jumps and fast speeds.

I took two training runs and and there was more passing in my second training run than any race I’ve ever been in. Once I knew that, I knew what to expect and it got crazy in there today, ollie-ing over people and…I just get better and better in the heats and ended up in a drag race for the finish with Pierre (Vaultier) and I just rode my snowboard faster.

This season has been brutal for me. I sprained my pelvis in December and basically sat on a couch for a month so I’m not the strongest I’ve been and I still have some hip pain. It’s a long injury but I just have to wake up early and get the bones moving—once you’re in the gate all that goes away.

It feels great to be back and on top of the podium because it was a slow start to the season and I was happy to show up here and see a course I like and that it is going to be the Olympic venue in two years.

Qualifying did not go well. I was 35th. It’s really windy here, they have windmills here for a reason. So I knew going into finals I needed to clean up my riding and that the wind played a factor but you can win out of any gate on this course, you win the course at the finish line, not at the start gate.

Nick Baumgartner
Today was unbelievable. I started out wearing bib 34, so I wasn’t super stoked on my time trial; I didn’t get to pick my lane all day, I only got the outsides, but I think I was winning every heat going down the first straightaway after turn one. I had great starts. Are you kidding me? I’m 34 years old—to beat these young kids at starts? That’s exactly what I wanted. I trained all summer for that and it’s paying off. I couldn’t be more stoked.

Korea is awesome. It’s so cool, everyone’s so stoked to see us, everyone’s so pumped. I like that. I like to feed off that energy. When I came down, you see my passion. I like to wear it on my sleeve. I’m excited and I’m screaming and it’s because I love what I’m doing and I’m fortunate to be able to do this. 

Peter Foley, Head Snowboardcross Coach

It’s a super cool course with big jumps. The draft plays a gigantic part in this course, so it’s really rare for someone to get the holeshot and get out front for the whole race. Nate, Lindsey, and Baum are all so good at pack racing and it’s so close the whole time, so it’s pretty exciting.

We didn’t know at all how this event would be—we didn’t have a good picture of it. So we were super excited when we saw it. Alex, Mick and Bobby came in the day before everyone else and got to be testers. The first time people saw it they were scared—the jumps were giant, but it ran super good.

Lindsey didn’t get the start she wanted and so she was dealing with traffic the whole time but she was still in the hunt for the podium until she cased the last double and that kind of crushed her.

Faye and Lindsey were running 1-2 in the round before last, but then Faye knocked boards with someone; she was so close to making the big final.

RESULTS
Men’s snowboardcross
Women’s snowboardcross