Engeli and Fischnaller win last parallel slalom of the season | Zogg and Kosir claim PSL and Overall Alpine World Cup title
A long FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup season wrapped up after nine single races with today's parallel slalom in Winterberg, Germany and wins for Hilde-Katrine Engeli (NOR) as well as Roland Fischnaller (ITA).
While the Norwegian and Italian racer celebrated their career's second and eleventh World Cup win, respectively, Julie Zogg (SUI) and Zan Kosir (SLO) claimed the psl and overall alpine snowboard World Cup titles.
Facing slight snow falls and flat lights at the comeback of Winterberg as World Cup host after an absence of ten years of the alpine snowboard World Cup tour, Engeli edged off local hero Selina Joerg (GER) in a tight ladies' final to the second rank with Alena Zavarzina (RUS) and Weronika Biel (POL) finishing in third and fourth position, respectively.
Finishing off a season on top of the podium, Engeli was a little bit sad that there weren't more races to come: “It's lovely. I'm so happy, and now it's kind of a shame that the season is ending. Now I just want to keep going.”
Due to her triumph, Engeli rounded out the psl World Cup podium as third behind of Sabine Schoeffmann (AUT) and Zogg who finished sixth today. The five-time junior world champion from Switzerland also took home the big crystal globe ahead of Marion Kreiner (AUT) and Ester Ledecka (CZE) knowing already at the start that she had the title in store:
“When I heard that Marion [Kreiner] was knocked out in her heat, my legs were shaking at the start.”
But the rising star of the 2015 season kept on racing while trying to understand what just happened: “I never thought of winning the title, especially as my season didn't kick off well. But it got better and better with Bad Gastein. I had, with Rogla as an exception, an amazing streak. It's unbelievable.”
On the men's side of things, Zan Kosir (SLO) also had an unbelievable season taking home al three titles.
“It was my goal to get the big crystal globe until the 2018 Olympics. I didn't focused on the small globes but it's nice to have all three though. It's great that I was able to show that I can not only win a race but be consistent over the whole season,” the dominating man of this winter stated.
However, just like in Moscow the weekend before today's fifth ranked rider missed the podium in Winterberg and therefore an almost perfect season,
Today's win went to Roland Fischnaller who had started off the season with two wins and a world title before losing the momentum a bit.
However, the South Tyrolean was still more than pleased with things ended up for him: “After winning the first and the last race I have to check to do better in between now but I'm very happy with today and my season. That it didn't work out with the crystal globe is OK for me. Now, I have some motivation left for next season.”
Benjamin Karl (AUT) secured his season's second podium finish as runner-up in Winterberg. In the battle for third, Konstantin Shipilov (RUS) crossed the finish line ahead of Anton Unterkofler (AUT).
While the young Russian has a bright future ahead of him after his career's first podium result, Unterkofler, who had raced the event in a typical Austrian lederhosen, announced his retirement after 93 World Cup starts and three podium finishes of which one was a win.
Meanwhile, Austrian racer Claudia Riegler became the second snowboarder ever to compete in 300 World Cup races. The only one before was her younger sister Manuela who has 307 to her belt.
According to another great achievement for the 41-year-old who is the oldest snowboarder ever to win a World Cup race and world title, Riegler said: “I never thought of 300 World Cup races when I started back in 1994. Even when Manuela got the 300, I didn't expect me to get that far because the races were getting less. But I did it.”
Then she smiled and giggled: “Now I have to get Manuela's record.”