Zoe Gillings, Britains No 1 Snowsport athlete finished in an impressive 5th position today in the final North American Snowboardcross World Cup held in Sunday River, USA. Despite still carrying the heel injury that has remained with Zoe since the X-Games in January, Zoe was in impressive form and displayed her excellent talent by again finishing in the top five.
There was a rocky start to the competition yesterday when the qualification was cancelled due to bad weather which meant the entire competition had to be run in one day, something that didnt favour Zoe as she would have to spend twice as much time on snow in one day severely affecting her injured heel.
Zoe started today in excellent form qualifying in an 6th position on a course which proved to be both technically challenging with huge features that the best in the World had trouble overcoming. Zoe then went into her first heat against Moll (AUS) Anthonaz (FRA) and Yamada (USA). Zoe came out of the gate in third position but quickly passed Yamada (USA) on the first set of rollers and settled in in second position behind Anthonaz. Zoe then finished the heat in second position securing herself a place in the semi-final.
Zoe started the semi final heat against the World No 1 Jacobellis (USA), the World No 2 Ricker (CAN) and Anthonaz (FRA), Zoe came out of the gate in 4th position but quickly passed Anthonaz on the 2nd corner placing her in third position. Zoe then set her sights on the second position of Jacobellis while at the same time keeping Anthonaz behind her. Despite Zoes best efforts, and with a last minute challenge, Jacobellis beat Zoe to the second spot by a mere 100th of a second placing Zoe in the small final.
Zoe then went into the small final and quickly secured her position in the No 1 spot which she maintained all the way down the course, Zoe finished the small final in 1st position, which secured her 5th place overall. Zoe now has two more World Cups left of the 2008/09 season in Spain and La Molina which she aims to podium at both.
Zoe said after the competition, “I feel really good after the race today, it was a long day having qualifying and finals on the same day but it was good to win the final heat. Ive now got two competitions left of this season and my aim is to win atleast one of these competitions as I really want to finish within the top 3 in the World going into the Olympic Year.”