2016 SNOWBOARDCROSS RESULTS & REVIEW
British Snowboardcross Results 2016 (Download PDF)
Men Open: 1st Max Thidling, 2nd Murray Koller, 3rd Si Nicholson
Women Open: 1st Stephanie Gehrig, 2nd Ellie Souter, 3rd Izzy Eames
See pdf for full age category results and times
BACK TO BACK TITLES FOR GEHRIG AND THIDLING AT THE 2016 BRITISH SNOWBOARDCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The second day of competition in Laax saw both Max Thidling and Stephanie Gehrig retain their British titles in a day of intense competition. With riders still battling slushy conditions, as well as low visibility, the weather added to the challenge of close quarters racing on the Crap Sogn Gion boardercross course.
With a varied field of first timers to seasoned World Cup racers, qualification got underway after a brief delay. In order to protect the course from getting too rutted out, riders had just one qualification run, meaning a clean top to bottom was an absolute must. Once seeding was complete, it was onto the 4x4 racing that makes Snowboardcross a perennial favourite.
First to drop in the knockout rounds was the men's masters category, headed up by ex-professional freestyler, and face of BBC Ski Sunday, Ed Leigh. Ed was joined in the category by several other memorable faces from British snowboarding history, making the competition a hotly contested one with a great vibe. Ed showed that his snowboard skills are still honed, especially after a move out to Switzerland this season, as he lead the masters field through qualifying and every race to seal his first BRITS gold medal in many years.
In the open men's race it was 2015 champion Max Thidling who claimed back-to-back titles for the first time. After a conservative qualification run placed him second in the seeding, Max pulled out the stops in the 4x4 racing, taking 1st in each of his races. In second was Scotland's Murray Koller, who was obviously stoked to take the podium alongside his friend and teammate Thidling. The Bronze medal went to Simon Nicholson, who put together the fastest qualification run of the day, but was unable to hold onto the top spot in the head to heads.
Max, commenting on the return of the Brits to Laax, said; “It's a huge step up, its so good out here in Laax”
In the women’s race, Stephanie Gehrig also retained her title, but this win came in less easy circumstances than 2015's. After a career threatening injury late last year, she was forced to take it easy in qualification to see if her now screw-supported back was up to the challenge. It seems it was, as the Stephanie who won her maiden title in Tignes 12 months ago was back in the 4x4s and she cruised to her first victory in Laax. Ellie Soutter had forgone her age category in the hopes of gunning for the overall podium. It turned out to be an inspired decision, as the 15 year old grabbed a silver medal. Izzy Eames rose from a 5th place seeding to close out the women's podium.
A very happy Gehrig commented; “I broke my back in December, this was the first day on snow again! I like the slush, but with my back it was quite tiring. Really I just snowboarded and it was fun!”
Outside of the overall category, the racing was still incredibly competitive. In the under 12s, mini shredder Mia Brooks showed that she has speed on the cross course as well as style in the snow park, claiming her second gold of the week. The tiny figure of Charlie Lane took to the top step of the under 12 men's podium, throwing up his best rock and roll horns to celebrate his win in front of a stoked crowd at The BRITS apres on the Laax snow-front.
British Snowboard Snowboardcross Championships Results
Men 1st – Max Thidling, 2nd – Murray Koller, 3rd – Simon Nicholson
Women 1st – Stephanie Gehrig, 2nd – Ellie Soutter, 3rd – Izzy Eames
Don’t forget to check out the BRITS 2016 picture galleries at www.facebook.com/britsfestival, where you will be able to check out the Snowboard and Freeski action from the previous day’s competition.
The BRITS would not be possible without its highly supportive Partners: LAAX, Swiss International Air Lines, Switzerland Tourism, Swiss Travel System and British Ski & Snowboard (BSS).