Tudegesheva and Anderson claim victory in last parallel giant slalom
Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) and Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN) have won the last competition of the 2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. In La Molina, Spain, the Russian rider relegated Doris Guenther (AUT) in the ladies' final to the second rank. Ina Meschik (AUT) finished third ahead of Camille De Faucompret (FRA).
On the men's side of things, Jasey Jay Anderson celebrated another win in his very last race after 14 years of World Cup competitions. The 2010 Olympic Champion, who had also triumphed on the course Cerdanya Catalunya last year, successfully competed against team mate Matthew Morison in the men's final. In the battle for third, Andreas Prommegger (AUT) crossed the finish line ahead of Tyler Jewell (USA).
The last race of a long winter was also characterised by two World Cup title decisions. Nicolien Sauerbreij (NED) and Doris Guenther were the main actors in the battle for the Parallel crown. Before the last head-to-head duels took place today, the Dutch athlete was sitting in first of the standings, leading over the Austrian with 490 points. But when the 2010 Olympic Champion, who also could have taken the Overall title by placing at least fourth today, went out in the quarter finals against later on winner Tudegesheva by only 6 hundredths, Guenther was the one to call all the shots. However, Austria's hopeful had to win in order to claim both, the Parallel and the Overall World Cup title.
90 points make the difference in the ladies' Parallel World Cup
In the end, the 31-years-old failed to fulfil her dream of a late comeback in the race for the globes by being defeated in the final. Due to this, Sauerbreij brought home the small Crystal Globe having earned 5,200 points throughout the whole season and thus only 90 points more than Guenther (5,110). "It was a very tight and exciting battle between us," Sauerbreij said. "And I have to admit that she also deserved to claim the title. It was so even between us. It was a nice season."
One ladies' joy is another ladies' sorrow: Guenther was - regarding the close defeat which made her settle for Parallel ranking runner-up again after 2009 - disappointed. "I knew that I would have had to win in order to take the title. I was in a very good mood and pushed the pedal to the metal. But if you fail that close it's very disappointing. I'm not pleased with the season. I lost too many points in January," the ninth of the 2010 Winter Games explained. "Fortunately, the last three races were good so I can build on this next season." Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli (SUI, 4,090) rounded out the Parallel World Cup podium as third.
Ricker earns Overall World Cup for the first time
The final defeat however was an even more bitter pill to swallow as Guenther thus also missed to keep hold on her 2009 Overall World Cup title. The 2010 big Crystal Globe was taken home by Maelle Ricker (5,290) who had collected the decisive points due to her unexpected appearance in yesterday's halfpipe contest. But before the 31-years-old from Squamish, B.C., was allowed to celebrate, she had to stay patient and cross fingers in the finish area.
"That was - with exception of the men's Olympic final - the most enthralling PGS I ever watched. It was so exciting. I had the feeling that it would come done to the very last run of the day. It's great to win the title but it was hard as you can't control it. It's a nice end of the season," the 2010 Olympic Snowboard Cross champion said.
On the men's side, Benjamin Karl (AUT, 7,050) clinched the Overall World Cup ahead of Pierre Vaultier (FRA, 5,800) and Andreas Prommegger (5,410). The 24-years-old also celebrated another double after 2008. Austria's dominating race boarder secured the Parallel World Cup title by relegating team mate Andreas Prommegger and Jasey Jay Anderson (5,250) to second and third respectively.
Perfect career wrap up for Anderson
In addition, Jasey Jay Anderson celebrated the perfect end of a 14 years lasting career. "The Canadian Rocket" not only put his 27th World Cup win to his belt but also can look back on a total of 61 podiums in 209 World Cup starts. In addition, the 34-years-old father of two girls took four World Championships Gold medals (2001, 2x 2005, 2009) and one Olympic title (2010). Two Snowboard Cross and four Overall World Cup titles were the icing on the cake.
No wonder, that Anderson announced with a beaming smile: "That's it! I'm done! I can't believe that I won. I was hoping to finish things off with a win but never thought that Matthew would make a mistake. It's unbelievable." The retired veteran took advantage of a riding mistake of his team mate Morison which enabled him to come back in the 2nd run of the finals which he had entered with the maximum penalty time of 1.49 seconds.
After the price ceremony, he then took the chance of saying a few words: "It was a great time and I want to thank all of you who accompanied me over the past years. I will miss you."
Besides Anderson, also Daniel Biveson (SWE) and Christopher Klug (USA) as well as Joh Shaw (AUS) and Finland's Ilona Ruotsalainen announced the end of their careers. In addition, Mathieu Bozzetto won't race a PGS anymore. But the 2010 Olympic Bronze medallist from France also said that he might do a few parallel slalom races next season.