Historic home soil win in Bad Gastein for Schoeffmann and Payer
Yesterday's third rank rider Sabine Schoeffmann and her teammate Alexander Payer have claimed victory in the third ever parallel team event of the alpine snowboard World Cup tour which took place in Bad Gastein, Austria as a single run format parallel slalom today.
It was the first time an Austrian team claimed a podium result in the still very young World Cup event.
In addition, the hosting nation became the third country to win a team psl after Italy and Switzerland had both triumphed last year.
Team AUT2 edged off GER2 with Selina Joerg and Stefan Baumeister in a heartbeat final thanks to some impressive riding and Payer who had proved some nerves of steel in today's duels several times.
In the final, he defended the small lead his team partner had handed him over, but it was the semi final against Olympic champion Vic Wild where the Carinthian had impressed most.
Payer had already been down on the course but fought back hard to bring home a close win and the ticket to the final.
“Alex definitely earned us the final. He rode very well. It's nice to share this victory with such a great teammate”, said Schoeffmann after the first team win for Austria.
Payer, who celebrated his career's first World Cup win, stated: “It was a special race. From the very beginning I enjoyed it thanks to a great partner.
We grew up together and have been riding together since we have been little kids. This is something special but also something what it takes to do well in such a race.”
Team spirit is one side of the medal, the right strategy the other one.
And AUT2 had chosen the right one today as Schoeffmann, who didn't get along with the Bucheben slope the years before, explained:
“It's interesting how you approach a team event. If you are first to go, you cannot go all or nothing. You have to be strategic but I think we did it right.”
If you win, you did everything right, that's something everyone can agree on, but even the beaten German mixed was more than OK with its second rank finish.
“I'm very happy about my career's first World Cup podium. We both didn't expect anything like this this morning,” stated Baumeister after his career's first podium result before adding:
“When competing in the big final you want to win for sure. So after losing it you are a little bit angry with yourself but then you notice how far you have come, and you are happy about your achievement.”
RUS2 with married couple Alena Zavarzina and Vic Wild rounded out the podium as third by beating SUI2 with Julie Zogg and Dario Caviezel in the small final.
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour continues on January 23rd, 2016, in Rogla, Slovenia with this season's second parallel giant slalom.