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Saturday, January 30, 2010
Holland, Jacobellis make WX history

By Micah Abrams
ESPN Action Sports

Three + three = double three-peat.

History was made twice Saturday on the X Course in Buttermilk, Colo. The record books began their rewrite when Lindsey Jacobellis earned the first-ever double three-peat by winning the women's Snowboarder X. Jacobellis, who won the event in 2008 and 2009, pulled off her first three-peat from 2003 to 2005.

The two-time defending champion was challenged early in the Snowboarder X final by Norway's Helene Olafsen. Jacobellis, who has a history of being her own worst enemy by pushing too hard at the wrong time, played it safe over the course's biggest airs and never looked affected by Olafsen, who steadily lost ground. The undisputed leader of the women's Olympic Boarder Cross Team ultimately cruised to her historic win.

Holland, with a familiar view of the finish.

A few minutes later, it was Jacobellis' Olympic teammate's time to shine. Nate Holland has dominated the Winter X Snowboarder X course since 2006, at one point winning nine straight heats in the process. On Saturday, Holland displayed a more cautious style than the brash Lake Tahoe local is known for, coming out of the semifinal round by carefully navigating a horrific pileup in the upper rhythm section before moving on to the final.

But the final was vintage Holland, who nabbed the hole shot and never looked back. 2006 Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott gave Holland a serious run through the course's final sections, but Wescott has never won at Winter X and that wouldn't change today. Holland crossed the line as the first athlete in the history of Winter X to earn a five-peat.