VALLE NEVADO, Chile (Sept. 26) - U.S. Snowboarding pro rider and back-to-back snowboardcross world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) notched her second World Cup podium of the early season Wednesday winning the opening SBX World Cup event . The victory comes less than a month after Jacobellis, who is also the reigning World Cup SBX champion, finished second at the season's first World Cup halfpipe contest held Sept. 1 in New Zealand. "She's been focusing a lot on halfpipe lately, so she's not super up-to-speed yet in SBX," said Head Coach Peter Foley. "She finished 10th in the time trial, but she's so good in heat races. She's really good at blocking all possible passing lanes and holding a lead."
The win, her third at Valle Nevado, marks the 11th World Cup victory of her career, all but one in SBX. "I think it helps that I am always not doing well in the time trials. This just pushes me [in finals] and keeps me going,” said Jacobellis.
Following her second-place finish in New Zealand, the Olympic silver medalist spent a week with the U.S. Snowboarding halfpipe team working on smoothing out her pipe run.
"Everything was super productive prior to the World Cup in New Zealand because it was the first time I'd been able to continuously ride pipe for five days," she said. "We even entered a local [halfpipe] contest called the Cardrona Games and I won that."
Following the camp, she had a few days at home before flying to Chile to kick off the SBX season, which opened four months earlier than last season when lack of snow held the first international competition until the 2007 FIS Snowboard World Championships in January, where Jacobellis was the gold medalist again.
"It's not a bad thing for us to be racing so early," explained Foley. "The most important thing is for the Team to train smart. We want everyone to be riding super strong when the season really kicks into gear. But if there's a course that's already built this early, we'll train on it."
Five U.S. men loaded the final brackets led by 2002 Olympian Graham Watanabe (Sun Valley, ID), who had the top result with fifth. Joining Watanabe was 2007 World Cup runner-up Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA) along with younger brother Pat (Sandpoint, ID), Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) and Jason Smith (Basalt, CO).
The Team will have two more days of training in Valle Nevado before qualifications for a second World Cup SBX are held Friday with the final to follow Saturday.
FIS Snowboarding World Cup
Valle Nevado, CHI - Sept. 26, 2007
SBX (first of two)
Women (top 16 qualify)
1. Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton Mountain, VT
2. Maelle Ricker, Canada
3. Doresia Krings, Austria
4. Christelle Doyon, Canada
16. Marni Yamada, Seattle
19. Brooke Shaw, Litchfield, CT