|LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (March 2) - U.S. Snowboarding's Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) capitalized on strong teamwork and all out aggression to win the exhibition Team SBX event at the Visa U.S. Snowboarding Cup Sunday at Whiteface Mountain outside Lake Placid.|
The event will be highlighted during Visa U.S. Snowboarding Cup coverage on NBC, Saturday, March 8 at 2 p.m. ET, and on Versus Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. ET.
Team SBX pairs two riders on a team. One races the course against three to five other competitors. When they cross the finish line, the gate at the start triggers for the next teammate to begin racing.
"I've always wanted to be a part of the ultracross [Team SBX] because it's been at the X Games for guys but the girls have never been able to experience it," Jacobellis said. "It's a great feeling and it makes it an actual team sport so that's the fun part."
Jacobellis and Chythlook-Sifsof took being teammates to the next level, wearing the 1980s USA hockey jerseys from the famed "Miracle on Ice" game where USA beat the Soviet Union.
"It was so fun. I love my teammate and it's great to finally, after just focusing on yourself, have another person to cheer on with you about your results," Chythlook-Sifsof said. "It's awesome and I love it."
Three-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) and two-time World Cup winner Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID) led the U.S. men's results with fourth place.
"It was another great day of racing," Watanabe said. "We didn't quite finish how we wanted to, but it was an amazing first trial of the Team SBX event and I thought it went great."
Watanabe was leading racers in the final heat but caught an edge leaving Holland in the gate.
"Graham was riding killer and it was giving me the open door all the time." Holland said. "I knew that the final was going to come down to a close heat and he gave it all he could. We'll have to get them next time, that's what the plan is."
Overall the event was high-paced excitement that left the spectators wanting to see Team SBX sooner, rather than later.
"I hope it creates another opportunity for the athletes to be able to show what they do and show case snowboardcross," U.S. Snowboarding Program Director Jeremy Forster said. "It was cool to see the teammates celebrate together and celebrate with the nation. It's a different format and it's a great opportunity."
The Visa U.S. Snowboarding Cup concludes Monday in Lake Placid with the men's and women's parallel giant slalom World Cup races.
2008 VISA U.S. SNOWBOARDING CUP
Lake Placid, N.Y. - March 2, 2008
Team SBX Exhibition
1. United States 1 (Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton Mountain, VT; Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Girdwood, AK)
2. Canada 1 (Maelle Ricker, Dominique Maltais)
3. Austria 1 (Susanne Moll, Manuela Riegler)
4. Norway 1 (Helene Olafsen, Stine Walle)
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Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com