Kreiner and Meschik with 1-2 punch for Austria while Wild strikes back in Rogla
More than ten days after the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships wrapped up in Kreischberg, Austria the Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour picked up pace again with the season's second parallel giant slalom event in Rogla, Slovenia today where Marion Kreiner (AUT) and Vic Wild (RUS) came out successfully of a star-studded field.
Unlike last year, when the riders had to face some tough weather conditions with fog and pouring rain, mother nature pleased the field and the big fan crowd with a blue bird sky and perfect snow conditions.
Pumped by the incredible good slope on the 450 metres long Jasa course and being able to keep the momentum from the last races, Kreiner, the 2015 psl world championships bronze medallist led a double win for Team Austria edging off her fellow countrywoman Ina Meschik in the big finals to the runner-up position.
“It was a perfect day for me. I noticed during the qualification runs that it's going well for me. I just went for it today. I knew exactly which line to choose and it worked out. I'm very pleased with how thinks went,” said the top qualifier who dominated the women's field.
It was the Graz resident's career's fifth who celebrated a back-to-back win in the so far two parallel giant slalom races staged on tour, a win which enabled the 33-year-old to extend her lead in the pgs (2,000) and alpine snowboard overall world cup ranking (2,690):
“It's nice that I could extend my lead in the pgs and overall world cup standings after the world championships didn't go as I wanted them to be in the pgs. It's my goal to win the title now, and I'm happy to made another step towards this direction.”
Selina Joerg (GER) rounded out the podium as third beating Tomoka Takeuchi (JPN) in the small finals.
In the men's competition, two-time 2014 Olympic Champion Vic Wild earned his career's second in a tight duel with this season's shooting star Mirko Felicetti crossing the finish line just 25 hundredths ahead of the Italian young gun, who claimed his career's podium within just a few weeks.
“I stood true to myself, doing my runs and never let the pressure get to me if people get in front of me or anything like that. I just did my runs and expected that nobody would be able to beat that,” explained the US-born Russian his key to success before explaining why Rogla has become a place to be for all World Cup riders over he past three years:
“Rogla is one of this special places where we can really let ourselves carve, and don't have to struggle or battle. I love coming here.”
Local hero Zan Kosir (SLO) took third while Kaspar Fluetsch (SUI) had to settle for fourth.
By placing third, Kosir, leader of the psl (1,800) and overall (3,200) alpine world cup ranking already, now also sits in first position of the pgs world cup ranking (1,400).
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour will continue in Sudelfeld, Germany with this season's third parallel giant slalom. Qualifiers are scheduled for Friday, Feb 6th at 1:30 PM CET, finals (re-run format) will take place Saturday, Feb 7th at 10 AM CET.