Kreiner and Fischnaller win season's opener of the Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour
Marion Kreiner (AUT) and Roland Fischnaller (ITA) have celebrated a perfect start into the new season of the FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup.
Three days later as originally scheduled and facing snowy and foggy weather conditions, Kreiner, the 2010 Olympic Bronze medallist, clinched the Parallel Giant Slalom event staged on the Pra di Tori slope in Carezza, Italy ahead of Caroline Calvé (CAN).
Marion Kreiner stated: “Everything came together today. I felt super good in the qualifications already. It was tough today but I gave my best, and I'm happy to stand on top of the podium.”
Being the best qualifier, the Austrian who secured her career's fourth in her 130th World Cup start, capitalised on the right to chose the line for the single run head-to-head due formatl. A fact which came out as decisive factor according to runner-up Calvé.
“I would have liked to finish first, but I think that if I would have been able to chose the blue course, I would have had a better chance. The red course surprised me in the final. But Im very happy with the second place”, the Canadian racer explained after bringing home another top-3 result from her – according to a tweet – lucky place. The 36-year-old had made it to the big finals in Carezza every year since the inaugural race at Karerpass.
Local hero Nadya Ochner (ITA) rounded out the podium as third crossing the finish line in the small finals ahead of Natalia Soboleva (RUS).
Securing her first ever podium finish, Ochner ended a seven-year streak for Italian female raceboarders earning the first top-3 result since Carmen Ranigler placed third in the Limone Piemonte PGS back in 2007.
“It's fantastic. Races on home turf are always special, and earning my first ever podium here is amazing. I hope I can tie on to this result in the next races,” the 21-year-old said.
On the men's side of things, 2011 Carezza winner Fischnaller, who had only 15 days on snow coming back from a tendon injury in his right tight, made the home crowd cheer by claiming an easy victory after two-time Sochi medallist Zan Kosir (SLO) crashed out in the finals.
Fischnaller therefore couldn't believe that he just took home his career's ninth: “It's a very emotional thing for me because I never expected anything like this. When I strapped in this morning I didn't feel good, but when the race kicked off all doubts were gone.
I had a good grip and that made me feel better with every single heat. But I also felt the pain more and more so I don't know yet if I take a rest this week or will race in Montafon.”
Nevertheless no-one knows how things could have wrapped up if Kosir would have been able to avoid this tiny little mistake which brought him out of balance and let him slip away on the blue course.
“Last year was the same: I attacked the victory but had to settle with second although being the faster rider. So, I'm not that satisfied.
I was a bit worried about the beginning of the season, and you never know where you are. Everybody is expecting a lot from me know but I'm happy that I was able to do my best,” Kosir told the media in the finish sack.
2010 Olympic Champion Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN), with 39-years of age the oldest rider in the knock out rounds, rounded out the podium as third with Rok Marguc (SLO) finishing in fourth position.
Being surprised how things turned out today, the only rider having competed at every Olympic Winter Games featuring snowboard events said: “I didn't expect a result like things but when things are good you can expect the unexpected. This was my kind of race. The snow was forgiving, you could be very aggressive, and you had to be precise also. I was pretty comfortable today.”
The FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour continues with a Parallel Slalom and the first ever Parallel Team Event in Montafon, Austria on December 18th and 19th.