With all other disciplines of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season in full swing, snowboard cross racers kicked off their competition winter on December 7th and 8th at Lech am Arlberg, Austria. A first time Snowboard World Cup venue, Lech hosted two SBX races. The first was a calendar highlight as it was the only snowboard cross held as night final under flood light.
The World Cup debut in Lech was a first check for the current form and an important test on high class competition level before the FIS Snowboard World Championships 2011. Besides the two races at Schlegelkopf, there will be only one more World Cup scheduled in Telluride, Colorado, before the world’s best battle for WCS medals in La Molina, Spain, next January.
First Race (December 7th): In the night finals held under floodlights Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Nate Holland (USA) won the first snowboard cross of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season. At Lech am Arlberg Maltais edged off her team mate Maelle Ricker to the runner-up spot after battling down a close ladies’ final. Yuka Fujimori (JPN) raced on her career’s first podium as third. On the men’s side, Nate Holland brought home an invulnerable victory after long-time leading and later on fourth ranked Canadian Dan Csokonay crashed at the half of the 1,250 metres long course at Schlegelkopf. Tom Velisek (CAN) and Austria’s Mario Fuchs rounded out the podium as second and third.
Second Race (December 8th): Dominique Maltais (CAN) and Luca Matteotti (ITA) have claimed victory in the second snowboard cross race of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. The Canadian rider celebrated her second win within less than 24 hours after having also won Tuesday’s snowboard cross season opener which was also been hosted on the 1,250 metres long Schlegelkopf course in Lech am Arlberg, Austria. Her team mate Maelle Ricker came in second, just like yesterday. Alexandra Jekova of Bulgaria finished third. On the men’s side, Luca Matteotti was able to bring home a historic win in his first World Cup final ever. After a waiting time of five years, the Italian secured a long-desired triumph in the Snowboard Cross Word Cup for his national team. Australia’s Alex Pullin, who was the best qualifier, ranked second while Paul-Henri De le Rue of France rounded out the podium as third.