Tudegesheva and Dufour victorious in Valmalenco
Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) and Sylvain Dufour (FRA) are the winners of the penultimate parallel competition of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season. In the parallel giant slalom held in Valmalenco, Italy, today, the Russian successfully competed against Isabella Laboeck (GER) in the ladies final thus claiming her season’s sixth. Julia Dujmovits (AUT) finished third, Caroline Calve (CAN) fourth. On the men’s side, Sylvain Dufour celebrated his career’s first triumph by beating Andreas Prommegger (AUT) in the final. In the battle for third, Roland Haldi (SUI) crossed the finish line ahead of Meinhard Erlacher (ITA).
But before it was time for the men’s decisions, the most dominant female race boarder of the season once again put her stamp on the race. Despite soft and thus tough snow conditions, Ekaterina Tudegesheva seemed to have found some rail like lines on the slope bringing home her career’s ninth World Cup win. In addition, the victory was equal to her first ever Parallel World Cup title having cumulated 6,890 points already with only one more race to go as well as the Overall World Cup of the speed disciplines parallel and snowboard cross with the possible maximum of 6,000 points.
“I’m very happy,” said the 23-years-old from Tashtagol. “It’s been a super season and I hope that I can wrap it up with another victory at the season’s finals in Arosa.” Chances are high for another win of Tudegesheva as not only this season’s results are a perfect proof but also her today’s riding performance. The fifth ranked athlete of the last World Championships (PGS) made her first tiny mistakes in the finals but already had enough advantage on Isabella Laboeck.
According to this, the 24-years-old German ungrudgingly recognised her rival’s dominance. “She is very strong. There is nothing to it. You can lose against her, especially as we had some tough conditions today.” Warm temperatures had made the course hard to handle, a fact which forced Laboeck into the decisive mistake.
“I hit a bump and went wide. Due to that, I had to risk everything in the second run in order to catch up the maximum penalty time. But that was impossible today. But I’m very happy with my second rank”, so Laboeck further on.
Bombshell by Dufour
After a frustrating season, no one would have thought of a World Cup win by Sylvain Dufour: fewest of all the Frenchman himself. This winter’s results had been too disappointing to think of a good end. In seven races, the 28-years-old had skipped Korea, he only made it into the round of the top 16 once, at the indoor season’s opener in Landgraaf (NED).
No wonder, that Dufour was all smiles after he claimed his career’s first World Cup win in his 114th start. “It feels so good. For a long time I just worked, worked and worked. And now it finally paid off. I never expected, that I could make it after such a season. But now, I know I can do it,” said the 2009 Double World Championships runner-up.
However, Dufour took advantage of the bad luck of his competitor in the men’s final when one of Andreas Prommegger’s bindings broke so he went down hard just right before the finish in the first run. In the second run, the Austrian fought back but couldn’t overtake Dufour anymore.
“Of course it would have been nice to win. But bearing my misfortune in mind, I have to say that the second is super. Especially as it is the best result I ever had here in Valmalenco,” explained the 30-years-old, who was able to catch up in the race for the Crystal Globe (4,740) but thinks that there is no practical chance left to catch World Cup leader Benjamin Karl (5,500), who was eliminated in the eighth finals today.
“Benji (Benjamin Karl) is in incredible shape although he went out in the first round today. There would have to be a lot of luck involved to take over the lead again. So, I’m not really thinking of it. I hope to do well in the last race in Arosa. If I end up on the World Cup podium, I would be very pleased,” said Prommegger.
Result women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7173/7173RLR0.pdf
Result bracket women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7173/7173RLRF.pdf
Result bracket men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7174/7174RLRF.pdf
Parallel World Cup standings women: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7173/7173WCS.pdf
Parallel World Cup standings men: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2011/SB/7174/7174WCS.pdf