Tudegesheva and Yankov win in Bad Gastein'
Bad Gastein has had a long history of thrilling World Cup events hosted on the Bucheneben slope right in the city centre before.
And also in the 16th consecutive year as World Cup host, the winter sport resort in the Salzburg region lived up to the expectations with some exiting and tight head to head duels of this season's second parallel slalom race of the alpine snowboard World Cup tour.
In the end, Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) and Radoslav Yankov (BUL) were the ones to triumph in the venue's 54th and 55th medal event in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Tudegesheva, a 28-year-old racer from Tashtagol, celebrated her career's twelfth win more than nine years after her first one which was also earned on the same Austrian hill at the foot of the Stubnerkogel beating Olympic psl champion Julia Dujmovits in what can be called a tight final until the Austrian lost control in a turn.
With her last of now 25 podium results dating back more than one year, the two-time world champion said:
“I'm very happy about my first win this season. I have to thank my coach and my team for their support. They helped me a lot. I'm really looking forward to the next individual race in Rogla.”
Interesting fact: Tudegesheva's earned her last World Cup win in the Slovenian resort two years ago, so the Russian racer is definitely one to watch out for in the race for the Crystal Globe, especially as she now sits on top of the overall alpine snowboard World Cup standings.
Dujmovits, who was hungry for her career's third triumph but lost her chance after a mistake, was also keen for the next tasks: “I know now that I'm fast. I guess it's just a matter of time until I win again.”
Today's women's podium was rounded out by Sabine Schoeffmann who rode to her career's third podium result after her rival in the battle for third, Alena Zavarzina from Russia, cut the wrong edge right before the transition to the flat home stretch.
In the men's event, new overall alpine snowboard World Cup leader Radoslav Yankov did well to add another chapter to the Bulgarian winter sport history books.
The first male snowboarder to ever win a World Cup event just a few weeks ago at this season's opener in Carezza, Italy, was able to keep the moment over the turn of the year, bringing home his career's second.
The 190cm tall Bulgarian racer edged off Italian's up-and-coming talent Maurizio Bormolini to the second rank.
“That was a good race for me again. I was able to chose the red course in all of my heats which worked out perfectly for me. I'm really happy that I was able to tie on to my win in Carezza. I think I'm in a very good shape right now. Before the final, I said to myself that I won't give up until the finish line.”
This iron will paired with a killer line on the red course had also eliminated four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Benjamin Karl in the semis who then lauded Yankov as “the measure of all things right now. He is in a brilliant shape.”
In the end Benjamin Karl, who celebrated his 20th race anniversary in Bad Gastein, had to settle for fourth after losing the small final against Mirko Felicetti (ITA).
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour continues tomorrow, January 9th, 2016, with this season's sole team event on the same slope in Bad Gastein. The final of the 16 best mixed teams will take place at 12 PM CET.