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U.S. snowboarders eye medals

Three Americans could contend for medals in Monday's snowboard cross final at Cypress Mountain, but they will have to bring down star Frenchman Pierre Vaultier, who has won four World Cup races this season and finished second five times.

The only man to beat Vaultier this season, American Nate Holland, said he was inspired watching the U.S. women's moguls team win the gold and bronze Saturday night in the freestyle final.

"Man, I was so fired up," he said. "We had the entire boarder cross team on the couch watching. The ladies did it, now it's our time to keep up our end of the bargain. It's time to race my heart out."

Holland recently won his fifth straight snowboard cross title at the Winter X Games. American Graham Watanabe, the runner up in the SBX World Cup standings, should also contend; along with defending Olympic champion Seth Westcott, who has struggled this season but managed to win the X Games silver medal. And Michigan native Nick Baumgartner also qualified for the final.

Holland told reporters after training Sunday they needed to commence an investigation. "You should ask the Canadians," he said, "why they're wearing such tight pants."

By Amy Shipley  |  February 15, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Snowboard , Vancouver 2010  
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