Gaskill Leads Americans at Snowboardcross World Championships
U.S. Snowboardcross Development Group rider Stacy Gaskill led the Americans on day one of the 2021 FIS Cross World Championships in Idre Fjäll, Sweden, finishing sixth for a career-best elite-level competition result.
Twenty-year-old Gaskill showed tremendous improvement from her first World Championship appearance in 2019 at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah where she finished 22nd, but it wasn’t an easy journey to the top-10. Gaskill had to best her teammate, five-time World champion and the winningest snowboardcross athlete of all time in Lindsey Jacobellis with a photo finish in the quarter-final.
“I absolutely looked up to Lindsey growing up in the sport,” said Gaskill. “When I first came across the line, they had called it already and the results had Lindsey moving through to the next round. But when they reviewed the video, I ended up beating her just by just a few inches. I was in awe!”
Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes was crowned World Champion, Italy’s Michela Moioli took silver, and the Czech Republic’s Eva Samkova earned bronze. Jacobellis broke the top-10 with a ninth-place finish, while Meghan Tierney and Faye Gulini finishing 12th and 13th respectively.
For the men, Spain’s Lucas Euibar claimed gold, Austria’s Alessandro Haemmerle silver, and Canada’s Eliot Grondin bronze. The 2018 Junior World Champion Jake Vedder led the way for the Americans finishing ninth, followed by Hagen Kearney in 14th, Mick Dierdorff 18th, and Alex Deibold 23rd.
The course in Idre Fjäll was a sight to be seen with massive jumps, technical features, and a number of lead changes throughout each heat. According to FIS, although there had never been a snowboardcross World Cup event at the Swedish resort, course builder David Ny and his crew felt comfortable adapting the track already built for January’s ski cross World Cup to make it suitable for the riders.
“The course is honestly incredibly fun, but difficult as well,” said Gaskill. “It’s definitely hard to really nail it. One run you may do well, but the next if you are even a little bit off towards the bottom, the entire section can really slow you down. It’s great to be on a course that is big, has more air time, and I think Valmalenco was a great lead up to the venue here at World Champs.”
The FIS Snowboardcross World Championships continue on Friday, Feb. 12 with the second edition of a mixed team format at a major event. The first installment went well for the U.S. Snowboardcross Team with Dierdorff and Jacobellis earning the inaugural mixed team gold medal on home soil in 2019.
“I know both Hagen and Faye really want redemption, said U.S. Snowboardross Head Coach Peter Foley. “They are super fast on the course and they had unlucky days today. They want another chance at it and are pretty excited to be able to race in the mixed team event.”
HOW TO WATCH
All times in EST
Friday, Feb. 12
6:30 a.m. FIS Snowboarding World Championships Snowboard Cross - LIVE, Idre Fjall, SWE, Broadcast Olympic Channel, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, Feb. 13
6:30 a.m. FIS Freestyle Skiing World Championships Ski Cross - LIVE, Idre Fjall, SWE, Streaming Peacock
11:30 a.m. FIS Freestyle Skiing World Championships Ski Cross - same-day broadcast, Idre Fjall, SWE, Broadcast Olympic Channel
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