Hofmeister and Loginov with maiden victories in Bad Gastein
Ramona Hofmeister (GER) and Dmitry Loginov (RUS) have claimed their respective career's first in today's second Parallel Slalom which was staged in the tradition-rich Austrian ski resort of Bad Gastein – a consecutive World Cup host for 18 years now.
There aren't a handful venues with such a long tradition and experience as a World Cup event organiser but thanks to a long history as a host with the first events dating back to 1998, the local crew at site was able to pull off another great show in the heart of the iconic village.
While the winter had kicked off well in the Salzburg Alps, the last couple of days in the lead-up to the World Cup weekend had given organisers at site some headaches as warm temperatures and heavy rain made it tough to prepare a great course.
But the team led by Mr. Bad Gastein World Cup Franz Weiss did so – much to the delight of two young guns who earned their respective first today.
Hofmeister, who had started well into the Olympic season with her so far career's best result as runner-up of the World Cup opener in Carezza last December dominated the women's final against three-time Bad Gastein winner Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) extending her lead on the 2007 and 2013 World Champion gate by gate to the finish line in the final battle of the women's event.
“That's crazy, just unbelievable. I really enjoyed racing today, I really liked the steep hill. That's an insane motivation boost for the 2018 Winter Olympics. I guess I can book my flight now”, she said after a stunning performance also knowing that things could have turned the other way round in the quarter finals.
Facing veteran rider Claudia Riegler the 21-year-old Bavarian already looked like going for an easy win when the 2015 World Champion from Austria made a mistake in the top part of the slope, but with only three more gates to go, Hofmeister herself also kind of slipped away finally but was able to secure the win with the tiny mere of 18 hundredths.
“That was pretty spectacular and close,” she recalled. “I never thought I would make it. But making it to the top spot of the podium from this exciting duel is just amazing.”
Michelle Dekker (NED), last year's second on the 272 metres long steep Bucheben slope nestling at the foot of Stubnerkogel mountain came out victorious of the small final to earn her career's second podium finish.
Natalia Soboleva (RUS) had to settle for fourth again after doing so in Bad Gastein back in 2013 and 2016, too.
While the women's event saw two ladies from Russia going for the medal, the men's event featured three riders from Mother Russia with Loginov coming out successful of the big final against teammate Andrey Sobolev, the older brother of Natalia.
Given the fact that it was yet the third time that the 17-year-old competed in knock out rounds on the World Cup tour, the 2016 PSL Junior World Champion was surprised of how today's race did unfold.
“I have no idea how I did this. I tried to ride calm and focused and did it. It's incredible,” he stated.
Maurizio Bormolini (ITA) prevented a Russian podium sweep beating Dmitry Sarsembaev (RUS) in the battle for third celebrating his career's second podium finish in Bad Gastein where he had place second back in 2016 already.
The Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour will continue tomorrow with a PSL team event, the second team World Cup race of the season starting at 4:30 PM CET.
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