VSSA grad Faye Gulini scores a podium in snowboard cross
MONTAFON, Austria — Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy 2011 graduate Faye Gulini partnered with teammate Lindsey Jacobellis to take second at Sunday’s FIS World Cup snowboard cross team event.
“Faye rode braver than she’s ever ridden,” said Peter Foley, women’s head snowboard cross coach. “She’s been working on making good decisions in pack racing, making aggressive passes and today was as good of a job as we could have hoped for. Lindsey is just riding at a really high level, it’s so competitive on the World Cup now and she’s riding so well.”
Jacobellis, who earned a silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, teamed up with Gulini for the tandem event on the same course where she earned a second-place result in a photo finish on Saturday. Nelly Moenne Loccoz, of France, also repeated her Saturday result, earning the win for France with teammate Chloe Trespeuch.
“In this event you get to function as a team, and you’re pulling for your buddy; it’s awesome to have that experience in snowboard cross because these athletes don’t get that in individual sports,” Foley said. “The team has more fun with it and there is less pressure but a little more stress because they don’t want to let their teammates down.”
For the American men it was Colorado athletes Alex Deibold, of Boulder, and Hagen Kearney, of Telluride, who made the best showing with a ninth-place finish. Pierre Vaultier and Tony Ramoin took home the win for France.
“Hagen and Alex rode great,” Foley said. “In the first round, Hagen finished second and Deibold finished first in his heat. But there was a gate malfunction so they had to re-run the heat; he ended up finishing third so they didn’t advance.
Snowboard cross athletes have a long break from the World Cup tour with the next top scheduled for Jan. 22-24 in Feldberg, Germany.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.