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FIS World Cup Season Kicks Off In Valle Nevado, Chile


Pat Donnelly
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Text of the article from Skipressworld

VALLE NEVADO, Chile (Sept. 16) - The FIS snowboard World Cup season kicked off Thursday with a snowboardcross event in Valle Nevado, Chile. U.S. Snowboarding rider Lindsey Jacobellis (Bondville, VT) was the top American, finishing fourth in the women’s race while Great Britain’s Zoe Gillings captured the win. Of the seven American men competing Thursday, Nate Holland (Olympic Valley, CA) posted the best U.S. finish at 13th.

“I made a little mistake,” said Jacobellis, who won four World Cup SBX events in 2004. “I left too much room for Zoe to come in and I paid the price. You live and learn. Tomorrow I plan to stay tighter through that gate, but I did the best I could.”

Peter Foley, head U.S. Snowboarding coach, said Jacobellis started in the far right lane for the finals. Coming into a critical gate, Jacobellis left a hole open wide enough for Gillings to slide in front of her and force her to the outside, where Jacobellis hit the fence.

Jacobellis noted the conditions were spring-like: “soft, but really fast.” She admitted the altitude has played a factor in her preparation. At more than 12,000 feet, it has taken every bit of the last seven days in Chile to get acclimated.

Holland and Seth Wescott (Farmington, ME) made it to the round of 16, with Wescott finishing 15th. Canada’s Drew Neilson won the event over Xavier Delerue of France.

“It’s always difficult racing in a pack like you do in SBX,” said Foley. “They just just didn’t execute the way they needed to in order to win. It was a tight race, though. But if you’re not in the lead, you’re definitely more susceptible to getting beat.”

Foley said athletes would regroup this evening and study the video from the day’s races in order to prepare for the second SBX event Friday.

“Everyone’s riding well enough - we just need to execute better,” said Foley. “We learned a lot from qualifications and from today’s races, and we will study the video and hopefully do better tomorrow.”

SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP

Valle Nevado, Chile

Sept. 16, 2004

Women

1. Zoe Gillings, GBR

2. Kathrin Kellenberger, SUI

3. Manuela Rielger, AUS

4. Lindsey Jacobellis, USA

8. Marni Yamada, USA

Men

1. Drew Neilson, CAN

2. Xavier Delerue, FRA

3. Simone Malusa, ITA

4. Mateusz Ligocki, POL

13. Nate Holland, USA

15. Seth Wescott, USA

25. Mike Rosengren, USA

27. Graham Watanabe, USA

31. Jayson Hale, USA

DNQ - Ben Jacobellis, USA

DNQ - Jeff Greenwood, USA

For complete results, visit http://www.fis-ski.com/results/even...14559&limit=125

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