Kummer and Yankov triumph in historic race in Bulgaria
Second best qualifiers Patrizia Kummer (SUI) and Radoslav Yankov (BUL) have claimed victory in the first parallel giant slalom of two World Cup races currently staged at Bansko which therefore became the second ever Bulgarian hist of a snowboard World Cup competition.
With a perfectly prepared course given under a blue bird sky, a demanding and turning setting of the gates as well as 7,000 noisy spectators who were barracking for their local favourite everything was set for an history writing debut as the so far sole World Cup staged on Bulgarian soil was dating back to Sofia where a big air was held in 2007.
And as if Hollywood had written the story line for the first ever pgs World Cup event at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, it was the Bulgaria's snowboard superstar Radoslav Yankov doing his home country proud by securing the much anticipated win in front of a stellar crowd where a lot of fans were fully equipped with Yankov masks and shirts.
One week after turning 27, the racer coming from Chepelare beat Rogla winner Nevin Galmarini (SUI) in the men's final bringing home his career's third.
“I'm really excited and happy about this win. It's a dream come true for me. I have to thank Bansko for putting this one up, such a great slope. The people here were awesome. I will never forget this race,” he said before getting feted by the crowd at site.
Yankov celebrates the win with his fans
Earning 1,000 points for his victory, Yankov took over the lead in the pgs as well as alpine snowboard overall World Cup ranking from Benjamin Karl (AUT) who finished in third position after having the upper hand on Mirko Felicetti (ITA) in the small final.
Clashes of the titans
While the men's event became a well-deserved Yankov show ,the women's event also featured an exciting showdown with 2014 Olympic champions Patrizia Kummer and Julia Dujmovits (AUT) going head to head in the big finals until the finish line.
In the end, the Swiss racer, who had lost her Rogla eight final last week do to the worse qualifier time after being tied with her rival Carolin Langenhorst (GER), came out successful of the most thrilling duel of the day by crossing the line 0.01 seconds ahead of her rival from Austria.
Patrizia Kummer kept the momentum from excellent training impressions
“It was an incredible race for me. I felt well right from the beginning. As a result I had a good qualifier time which was important for me as it didn't really work out in the last races. I knew that I just had to believe in myself and what I do. And it worked out. I'm super happy that I made it on top of the podium, especially in front of such a crowd here in Bansko.”
Although one man's meat is another man's poison, runner-up Julia Dujmovits was also pleased with the result given the fact that she had to overcome several setbacks during the season already:
“I'm not disappointed although it's never nice to lose by only one hundredths but this is a sport where things can go the other way round next time. So, I'm sure that I will have the advantage sometime again.
I'm glad about my racing today especially as the whole season hasn't been going well for me so far with two finger injuries. I'm happy that I came back step by step and finished on the podium today.”
Ladina Jenny (SUI) rounded out the podium as third while 2015 world champion Claudia Riegler (AUT) had to settle for fourth position just like last weekend in Slovenia.
Eighth rank finisher Ina Meschik (AUT) took over the pgs World Cup lead from Ester Ledecka (CZE), who is missing out the Bansko trip due to participating in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships in St. Moritz (SUI).
However, the Czech is still leading the overall World Cup ranking.
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour continues this coming Sunday with another parallel giant slalom staged on the Alberto Tomba slope.
Finals are scheduled for 1:30 PM CET with ORF Sport+ and sportschau.de already having confirmed to broadcast the knock out rounds live.
Full results of this season's third pgs World Cup staged at Bansko can be viewed online.