Aspen, Colo. (ESPN) – Marco Huser was in the same position about 24 hours earlier – trailing Xavier de le Rue in the finals of Men’s Snowboarder X. He was unable to overtake him, however, and was forced to settle for third place and a bronze medal – his first at the Winter X Games.
Sunday was a different story, though. Huser (Glarnerland, Switzerland) was again trailing de le Rue in Ultracross as the pair quickly approached the finish line in the finals of the snowboard-skiing relay race. This time Huser pumped away and slipped by his main competition and crossed the finish line first to give him and his partner, Eric Andersson, gold medals.
It was quite a Winter X Games for the duo. Huser was the final qualifier from Friday’s Snowboarder X seeding run and went on to capture firsts in both the quarterfinal and semifinals heats Saturday to earn a berth in the final.
He then battled his way into third place for his first-ever X Games medal. Sunday’s gold was the first medal for Andersson (Nora, Sweden) in his six appearances. His previous best was a tie for ninth in Ultracross in his debut in 2000.
“The race was amazing,” said Huser. “I got out of the gate third and kept gaining momentum. I passed one person and then passed de le Rue. He’s the best and once I passed him I knew I could win.”
“The race was incredible,” said Andersson. “It was an intense competition. Marco had an amazing race to beat de le Rue.”
De le Rue (Saint Lary, France) continued his strong performance in Ultracross as he and teammate Davey Barr (Whistler, BC, Canada) captured second. It was his third medal in as many years in the discipline (one gold, two silver). This was Barr’s first time on the medal stand at Winter X.
The team of Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and Eric Archer (Vail, Colo.) each claimed their second career medals in Ultracross by adding bronzes. Holland won a gold in 2004 and Archer won silver in 2002.
Final Results from Aspen/Snowmass on Sunday, January 30, 2005
1. Marco Huser/Eric Andersson
Glarnerland, Switzerland/Nora, Sweden
2. Xavier de le Rue/Davey Barr
Saint Lary, France/ Whistler, BC, Canada
3. Nate Holland/Eric Archer
Squaw Valley, Calif./ Vail, Colo.
4. Pat Holland/Enak Gavaggio
Jackson Hole, Wyo./ Bourg St. Maurice, France
Consolation Results from Aspen/Snowmass on Sunday, January 30, 2005
1. Matt Shrive/Lars Lewen
Redlands, Calif./ Stockholm, Sweden
2. Ueli Kesternholz/Roman Hofer
Thun, Switzerland/ Ellmau, Austria
3. Jason Smith/Ryan McCullough
Basalt, Colo./ Denver, Colo.
4. Nick Baumgartner/Zach Crist
Iron River, Mich./ Sun Valley, Idaho