Frei and Wescott triumph in Arosa’s snowboard cross

After Sandra Frei and Seth Wescott had missed the World Championships title about two years ago so close, the Swiss and the US-American secured victory in the second Snowboard Cross of the 2009 Snowboard FIS World Cup.

Manuela Riegler liegt vorne.  Copyright: FIS - Oliver Kraus On the Carmenna course in Arosa, the 24-year-old from Graubuenden relegated Helene Olafsen (NOR) and Nelly Moenne Loccoz to the second and third rank respectively. It was the first ever World Cup podium for the young French boarder. Simona Meiler form Switzerland finished fourth.

On the men’s side, the 2006 Olympic Champion provided a unforgettable first: Despite all of his international triumphs, Seth Wescott had never won a World Cup race before. Today, in his 56 attempt, it finally worked out. The 32-year-old crossed the finish line ahead of Markus Schairer (AUT), David Speiser (GER) and Alex Pullin (AUS) in the men’s final.

For his first ever World Cup triumph, Wescott had to wait for quite a long time. After he made his debut in a Halfpipe World Cup competition in 1999, it took the restaurant owner about nine years – after winning the World Championships in 2005 and the 2006 Olympics – to take home the precious World Cup Gold. “I definitely had to wait too long for it. It feels great to finally win a World Cup race and to be healthy again after 1.5 years of injuries.”

However, the US-American, who also secured his personal spot for the up-coming World Championships, looked comfortable the whole day riding super consistent like in the finals when he celebrated a wire to wire: “It was strange. It seemed that I didn’t have to try that hard. It was all smooth. I had a very good touch to the snow.”

The snow – or better the constant snow fall – played a big role in today’s race but not a major one for Sandra Frei who once again rocked Arosa with her wire to wire in the finals earning her career’s third World Cup triumph.

“Yesterday, I was hoping that I would have the chance to win this if everything would work out from A to Z. And it did! It’s just amazing to win here – just one hour away from my home. According to this, I have one more positive memory linked to Arosa”, said Frei who also took over the SBX World Cup lead.

As unusual the result with both WCS-runner-ups was, the more surprising was the early out of the reigning World Champions. Xavier Delerue got kicked out in the eighth finals. The French pro led his heat until the last section of the 700 metres long course but had to accept defeat due to a riding mistake. The same happened in the quarters to Lindsey Jacobellis, who was far in the lead. But a mistake was equivalent to the end of all victory dreams.

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