Hagen Kearney earned his first world cup victory while Lindsey Jacobellis made yet another podium appearance Friday at the first stop of the snowboardcross world cup season in Montafon, Austria.
Kearney scored the victory for his first world cup podium appearance in 28 starts. In a dramatic re-run – the first-ever at a snowboardcross world cup final – that took place after a gate malfunction, the 25-year-old led out of the gate and stayed in front the entire race, avoiding any entanglements with the other riders. He held off a late challenge from Italy’s Omar Visintin to trigger a celebration in the finish area, where he was hoisted into the air by his U.S. teammates. Australia’s Alex Pullin, who was fifth in last year’s world cup standings, finished third. Three-time U.S. Olympian Nate Holland finished seventh, taking third in the small final.
Jacobellis, a three-time Olympian and 2006 silver medalist, earned her 44th world cup podium in her 74th start, placing third behind Australia’s Belle Brockhoff, who was third in last year’s world cup standings, and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Chloe Trespeuch of France. Jacobellis reached the world cup podium twice last season, placing second in the season opener at Montafon and again in March in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. She also won the X Games Aspen in January for her 10th X Games gold medal, more than any other rider.
After Sunday’s team event in Montafon, the snowboardcross world cup resumes Jan. 21-22 in Solitude, Utah.