Third event is a charm for Vermonter
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Until Monday, it had been a rough weekend for snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis.
On Friday, the 18-year-old Stratton Mountain, Vt., phenom failed to qualify for the 10-rider slopestyle finals, finishing 13th and feeling just as unlucky. Then Saturday in the superpipe, Jacobellis ” the only woman to compete in all three X Games snowboarding events ” was snakebitten again, scoring off the podium in fourth place.
In yesterday’s boardercross, however, the resilient Jacobellis took charge.
And what had been billed as an epic (and first) showdown between Jacobellis, the young gun defending X Games boardercross champ, and Chamonix, France’s Karine Ruby, the two-time Olympic medalist in alpine snowboarding, all-around legend and X Games rookie, was more of a showing up.
In a semifinal heat and again in the six-woman finals, Jacobellis eclipsed the faster-starting Ruby after the flat section at the top to run away with the semi heat and then the gold medal in the finals.
Both times, Jacobellis pumped through the section of rollers at the top of the X course, then put at least a bus length between herself, Ruby and the rest of her pursuers as the course entered the turny, big-air-laden section at the bottom.
For Jacobellis, sweet victory was worth the wait.
“Not qualifying for slopestyle and just missing third in pipe, this definitely made my day,” she said.
“Pipe and slopestyle are my fun things, but boardercross is my life.”
Ruby was the No. 1 qualifier in Friday’s time trial, with Jacobellis not far behind at No. 4.
Not unlike superpipe gold medalist Hannah Teter, another Vermonter whose big brothers schooled her in the ways of snowboarding, Jacobellis is accustomed to following her older bro Ben around the slopes.
“I’m not good at doing time trials ’cause I never know how fast I can go,” she said. “Usually, I just chase my brother or one of the boys down, so I’m usually just trying to keep up and I can’t always tell how fast I’m going in time trials.
“And it helps to have a freestyle background as well as a racing background because I feel comfortable going over jumps … and hitting the transition everytime, therefore pumping all the life out of the transition.”
Course conditions following Sunday’s snowstorm?
“Well, we [Vermonters] can ride ice,” she replied, “so this is awesome to ride. This, back there, is a rare thing to find.”
Yvonne Mueller of Adliswil, Switzerland, finished third with Austrian Ine Poetzl fourth, Joanie Anderson of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., fifth and Norway’s Line Oestvold sixth.
In the consolation finals, former Aspen resident Erin Simmons, who now lives in Steamboat Springs, won the six-rider heat to claim seventh place.
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