Ledecka and Prommegger triumph in season's last PGS
Ester Ledecka (CZE) and Andreas Prommegger (AUT) have come out victorious of the 2016-17 World Cup season's final PGS which was staged in Erciyes-Kayseri today successfully repeating their last year's triumph on the Turkish volcano.
It was an uncommon race both prevailed in as the parallel giant slalom race originally scheduled for yesterday got interrupted after several delays due to heavy fog and low visibility.
But Ledecka and Prommegger dealt best with the situation keeping the motivation high over night.
The competition finally resumed this morning with the quarter finals under a blue bird sky and the reigning PSL world champion underlined her claim on another gold medal at the upcoming world championships which will take place in Sierra Nevada (ESP) from March 7 to 19.
In a heart beat women's final, Ledecka edged off Tomoka Takeuchi from Japan by the tiny mere of 0.03 seconds bringing home her career's ninth.
“It was a great race, although yesterday was pretty tough. But that's nature. But his way, it was interesting with the race taking place on two different days. It was a new experience. I happy that I have another good result. It was a good training for Sierra Nevada. I'm looking forward to competing at the world championships,” Ledecka said.
The women's podium
Ramona Hofmeister (GER) rounded out the podium as third beating Austrian champion Daniela Ulbing in the small final.
Over in the men's event, history was made as Sang-ho Lee and Bo-gun Choi secured the first ever medals for Korea in an alpine snowboard World Cup event finishing as respective second and third behind of Andreas Prommegger who celebrated a back-to-back win after his victory in the Olympic test event in South Korea three weeks ago.
The men's podium in Turkey
Thanks to his career's 15th win, Prommegger took over the lead in the parallel overall World Cup standings from Radoslav Yankov (BUL) who finished 17th today but claimed the PGS World Cup title.
“It's been two pretty tough days. They tried to finish the race yesterday but it wasn't possible due to the sleet.
But yeah, I'm really happy. I won here last year, and I was able to pull of this feat again. It was pretty close but I'm very relieved. Of course, the focus is on the world champs now but the overall World Cup ranking is also one thing I'm going for,” he explained knowing that it will be a tight battle with Yankov for the overall crown.
The Austrian veteran is currently sitting in first with 4,350 points but the defending champion is close behind with 3,950 points while Benjamin Karl can also nail it on the last day of the season with 3,600 points.
However, it's the Bulgarian superstar Prommegger has to have an eye on first. And Yankov is still motivated for more: “I'm happy. I managed to take home the Crystal Globe in the PGS, and I'm really happy with this, even though I didn't do well here finishing 17th.
Now I'm focusing on competing in the Sierra Nevada which are the most important races of the season. And then Winterberg will bring a pretty tough showdown for the overall win with the Austrian guys. But first, it's the worlds.”
Alena Zavarzina (RUS) brought home her career's first Crystal Globe also leading the overall standings of the women with only one more race to come.
However, before finally putting her hands on the coveted Crystal Globe, the 2014 Olympic bronze medallist had to go through some hard times:
“The delay yesterday and re-scheduling of the race was very stressful for me as I was going for the Crystal Globe and didn't have much of an advantage [on Patrizia Kummer]. This waiting situation was nerve-wrecking. It was like the worst day of my life. I tried to make the best of the situation but almost puked this morning after breakfast. But I kept going. It was dramatic, I was hoping to finish on the podium in the last race.
I was waiting for this moment, and of course I'm happy and very proud. It was my goal ever since I started my career. It definitely took away the stress prior to the world champs.”
Two happy PGS title winners
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour will wrap up things with the final parallel slalom and parallel slalom team event slated to take place in Winterberg (GER) from March 17 to 19.
However, the 12th FIS Snowboard World Championships are up next for the raceboarders with the pgs medal decisions scheduled for March 14 and the ones for PSL for March 15.
Full results of this season's final PGS World Cup staged at Erciyes-Kayseri, Turkey can be viewed online.