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American Mick Dierdorff wins world title in snowboard cross

FIS World Snowboard Championships - Men's and Women's Snowboardcross

PARK CITY, USA - FEBRUARY 1: Mick Dierdorff of USA takes 1st place during the FIS World Snowboard Championships Men’s and Women’s Snowboardcross on February 1, 2019 in Park City, USA. (Photo by Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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Mick Dierdorff kicked off a World Championships on home soil with a win in snowboard cross on Friday in Solitude, Utah.

The 27-year-old won each of his heats en route to a victory at his first World Championships after grabbing an early lead in the final. No American man had won a world title in snowboard cross since Seth Wescott did so in 2005.

“That was the best day of my life right there,” Dierdorff said in an interview with NBC’s Tina Dixon after the race. "...This is a moment I’ve dreamed about.”

Dierdorff, who grew up in Colorado Springs, made his Olympic debut in 2018, finishing fifth. He balanced two professions in the lead-up to the Olympics, framing houses part-time while training for the Games.

The Americans brought a strong contingent to Solitude with Dierdorff, three-time Olympians Nick Baumgartner and Nate Holland and up-and-coming talent Jake Vedder. Vedder finished fifth, Baumgartner was eliminated in the quarterfinals, and Holland did not advance from the round of 32.

Five-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis fell short of a sixth title in women’s snowboard cross after losing speed in the semi-final and failing to advance, ultimately finishing fifth.

The World Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Championships continue tomorrow with ski cross at 3 p.m. and freestyle skiing big air at 9 p.m., both live on Olympic Channel.