Saturday is the New Friday

Joshua Duplechian
Saturday afternoon, the powers that be will finally hand out some hardware on the X Course as things crank up with the SnowboarderX Men's and Women's Final. On the men's side, with the top qualifying time from Friday morning Nate Holland certainly answered any lingering questions about his speed after a mixed bag international season and is well positioned to chase his fourpeat dreams.

Still, the rest of the field isn't just going to roll over and let Holland make SBX history. With podium favorites including Seth Wescott, Graham Watanabe, Nick Baumgartner, and Marcus Schairer all qualifying near the top, there's an opportunity for top riders to clear the chaff in quarters, set up a stacked pair of semi-finals, and an even more competitive medal run.

For the women, boring as it may be the race is still likely Lindsey Jacobellis' to lose. She dominated this year's World Cup scene, and would be working on a fourpeat of her own if not for her memorable kerfuffle at the bottom of the hill in '07.

But should you be the sort of free spirit forever seeking to poke holes in the C.W., Maelle Ricker would be a good choice to score an upset. She arrived in Aspen riding well, and bested Jacobellis a few times during the World Cup season. Plus, she's Canadian, and they're a crafty bunch.

Of course, the real wild card here is weather. Snow has been falling throughout the evening, is expected to continue through the night and into tomorrow afternoon. Good news for anyone with a lift ticket to Snowmass, bad news for anyone looking for speed on a boardercross course.