Jacobellis clinches three-peat in boardercross | AspenTimes.com

Jacobellis clinches three-peat in boardercross

Ryan Slabaugh/CMNM

ASPEN ” Three-peat by a hair ” curly hair.

Vermont’s Lindsey Jacobellis, with her trademark curls flowing under her helmet, won her third-straight Winter X Games boardercross competition by tucking on the final hit and slipping past frontrunner Erin Simmons, a Steamboat Springs racer.

Jacobellis, 19, who also competes in the superpipe, fell behind early before a final charge that surprised her parents, who immediately began crying with joy when the final results were announced.

“This is a very active course and you can pass anywhere… and I was just trying to stay solid and ride like I’ve been riding,” Jacobellis said. “I saw she was trying to block me more and she was scrubbing a little more of my speed, where I was able to keep my speed up and just tuck the last part as low as possible.”

Jacobellis qualified the fastest, but had to overcome the image of her brother, Ben, crashing in the quarterfinals after his board was clipped by another rider. Ben was taken to the hospital after it was reported he had a concussion.

For Simmons, the loss was nothing knew. Saturday’s result was the third silver medal for the Canadian, who qualified for the semifinals in third position.

“I passed Lindsey and that’s the best feeling in the world,” Simmons said. “But unfortunately she got me at the end. I just pointed it straight … but she had the wax at the end.”

Jacobellis won every heat she competed in this year in boardercross. Her only challenge came in the final heat.

In the men’s boardercross competition, Xavier de le Rue led the final heat the entire way, upsetting the favorite Seth Westcott by two lengths. For de le Rue, a Frenchman, the win marked his first at the X Games.

“(Westcott and I) always kind of race together,” de le Rue said. “We are friends, and Marco (Huser) as well. We always respect the lines. If one guy is faster, we’re never going to block him. That’s why it was so nice ” and that’s how we don’t get injured as well.”

Nate Holland of Squaw Valley, Calif., finished third.

Aspen native Jason Smith finished fourth in front of a very friendly crowd.

“This has been my best race in a long time,” Smith said. “I’m stoked to be here and stoked to be in the finals.”

Two-time defending champion Uelie Kestenholz was upset by Smith in the semifinals, where Kestenholz finished fourth. The top three of the six-person heats qualified for the next round.

Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at rslabaugh@summitdaily.com. For more photos, stories and videos, visit http://www.summitdaily.com/xgames.

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