Hagen Kearney is all smiles after grabbing his first career World Cup snowboardcross victory Friday. (USSA)
MONTAFON, Austria (Dec. 16, 2016) - It was a thrilling start to the 2017 FIS Snowboarding snowboardcross World Cup season, where Hagen Kearney (Telluride, CO) earned his first career win and Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) took third in a photo finish.
Kearney’s strength was in his start - he took the holeshot in every heat, including the final. For the first time in World Cup history, the men’s snowboardcross final had to be rerun due to a gate malfunction the first time around. “I knew nobody really wanted to go back up there and race again,” Kearney said after the race, “So I figured I had the edge on everybody - I wanted to do this again.”
The U.S. Snowboarding SBX team lift Hagen Kearney after he came through the finish.
Kearney, whose previous best World Cup finish was fifth in Valmalenco in 2012, was joined on the podium by Omar Visintin of Italy in second and Alex Pullin of Australia in third.
It was a tight battle for the women and in the end, Jacobellis added to her stunning competition resume with her 44th World Cup podium. Jacobellis fought across the finish line with winner Belle Brockhoff of Australia and second-place finisher Chloe Trespeuch of France. “I’m still trying to improve my riding,” Jacobellis said. “I have to work on my starts, although it was fun to hunt down the girls on the course.”
Other American finishers included, Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) in seventh; Alex Deibold (Boulder, CO) 10th; Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City, UT) 13th; Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) 16th; Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) 23rd; Danielle Steinhoff (Colfax, CA) 27th; Rosie Mancari (Anchorage, AK) 29th; Mick Dierdorff (Steamboat Springs, CO) 35th; Jake Vedder (Pinckney, MI) 41st; Robert Minghini (Snowshoe, WV) 61st; Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) 64th; and Cole Johnson (Squaw Valley, CA) 65th.
Lindsey Jacobellis stands in third, behind Belle Brockhoff and Chloe Trespeuch.
The American snowboardcross athletes will be back on course at Montafon on Sunday for the team event.
Hagen Kearney scored his first World Cup win and his first World Cup podium overall.
Lindsey Jacobellis landed her first World Cup podium of the season with a third-place finish. It was her 44th career World Cup podium.
QUOTES Hagen Kearney I knew nobody really wanted to go back up there and race again, so I figured I had the edge on everybody - I wanted to do this again. Every time is different, but today I was full on and ready to go as much as I needed to. I knew it would be a tough course to pass, so I gave everything I had in the start. In the second run…I knew they were going for the inside turns again, so I went even closer than in the first final, where I got caught. I felt the heat and that was it. I can’t believe I just won - it’s insane!
Lindsey Jacbellis It’s definitely nice to start off the season strong after having been surfing a lot in California and stepping back from the intensity of snowboarding and racing for a bit. So getting here to a course that really gets you excited, is fast and pushes your limits. I’m still trying to improve my riding; I have to work on my starts, although it was fun to hunt down the girls on the course.