Riders charge down the snowboardcross to the mountain village at Telluride. (FIS/Oliver Kraus)
TELLURIDE, CO (Dec. 14) – Two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) leads a strong U.S. Snowboarding squad into this week's USANA Snowboardcross Cup at Telluride, the opening SBX event in the LGS FIS Snowboard World Cup. Over 20 U.S. snowboarders, including seven-time X Games champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) and six-time X Games titlist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA), will be in the field with the USA looking for its first win at Telluride. The U.S. riders are coming off a 10-day on-snow camp at Telluride on a full-length, meticulously prepared training course. NBC Sports will broadcast the event on New Year's Eve at 5:00 p.m. ET.
USANA Snowboardcross Cup is third year for SBX World Cup at Telluride.
Exclusive training camp at Telluride is a key component to ongoing athletic success for U.S. Snowboarding riders.
SBX course built by noted designer Jeff Ihaksi
Individual event will utilize a new 6-rider head-to-head finals (which will also be used in the 2014 Olympics).
Large field of 67 men and 30 women from 23 nations in SBX.
Third year for Team SBX at Telluride, a new event for snowboarding which has been pioneered globally by U.S. Snowboarding.
Team event will pit 4-man teams from each nation againast each other.
USANA Snowboardcross Cup will kickoff with opening parallel giant slalom World Cup Thursday.
TV Dec. 31, 5:00 p.m. – NBC (SBX) Jan. 7, 4:00 p.m. – Versus (PGS) Jan. 7, 5:00 p.m. – Versus (SBX) Jan. 7, 6:00 p.m. – Versus (Paul Mitchell Progression Session, Team SBX)
QUOTES Peter Foley, U.S. Snowboarding Head Coach I've never seen our team more fit and riding at such a high level for this time of year. I would really like to see that translate into us being on top of the podium.
Our Telluride camp was amazing. Really the best camp we've ever had, with two different courses to work on different skills. We trained hard for 6 days and then took a 3 day break leading into the World Cup. The amount of effort and skill that Telluride put into making us a training venue is unprecedented. It's the most valuable training we get every season.
It's always interesting to see who emerges as fast at the start of a a new year. These athletes have not raced each other since March. You have to think that Vaultier (Pierre Vaultier, France, last year's Telluride winner) and Chumpy (Alex Pullin, Australia, third last year) will be fast again.
Nate Holland After an amazing camp in Telluride which included two different training courses the whole U.S. Snowboarding SBX Team is up to speed for the season. Telluride really rolls out the red carpet for us while were here, it's starting to feel like a second home in December.
I'm personally looking to start my season with a win, and would love to see a U.S. Snowboarding sweep of the podium, it's truly possible, now we just have to execute.
We'll be racing 6 man SBX, which I believe results in much more of a dynamic race than 4-man. The course is big with a lot of touch and go airs, perfect for passing and jockeying for position.
Jonathan Cheever I love having the first world cup of the year in Telluride. It's a short drive from Park City, we have world class accommodation, terrain and most importantly a world class course.
The US is setting the bench mark for the other host nations this year by hosting a 6 person SBX final on a big course.
Our training camp at Telluride this year was invaluable. I wish we could talk about the skills we learned, but in all honesty, it puts us that much further ahead of the other teams I shouldn't talk about it!
Saturday, Dec. 17 12:00-1:15 p.m. – Team SBX Finals 1:45 p.m. - U.S. Snowboarding SBX Team Public Celebration
U.S. SNOWBOARDING RIDERS TO WATCH Men Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, MI) – Reigning X Games Champion, sixth in 2011 FIS World Cup SBX; top-six ranked four of last five years; seven World Cup podiums with seven wins; Rookie of Year in summer truck racing series Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) – Reigning U.S. Champion and third in the 2011 FIS World Cup standings Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) – Six-time X Games champion, two-time World Championship medalist Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID) - Five World Cup podiums with two wins Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) – Two-time Olympic champion, five-time World Championship medalist
INTERNATIONAL RIDERS TO WATCH Men Alex Pullin (Australia) – Reigning FIS World Cup SBX champion Pierre Vaultier (France) – Second in FIS World Cup SBX last season; 2010 FIS World Cup SBX champion; 11 World Cup wins; won in Telluride last December
Women Dominique Maltais (Canada) – Two-time and reigning FIS World Cup SBX champion; five World Cup wins including last December in Telluride Alexandra Jekova (Bulgaria) - Second in 2011 FIS World Cup SBX; two World Cup wins