Ulbing and Karl triumph in season's first parallel slalom team event
Team AUT1 with Daniela Ulbing and Benjamin Karl have claimed victory in this season's first parallel slalom team event staged under a blue bird sky in Bad Gastein today therefore wrapping up the home soil World Cup stop for Snowboard Austria in style.
Just like last year when Sabine Schoeffmann and Alex Payer celebrated the win for Austria, it was a team representing red-white-red to come out victorious of this texciting race format which features national mixed teams compete against each other in thrilling head-to-head duels.
In the end, it was once again Daniela Ulbing who seems to be in love with the 270 metres long Bucheben slope as yesterday's triumphant racer laid the base for a safe win with her focused racing.
The 18-year-old celebrated a back-to-back win in front of a stellar home crowd alongside teammate Benjamin Karl who just had to defend the lead entering the slope as second ride to secure his third podium finish in the fourth World Cup race of the 2016-17 season.
However, this win was even more important for Karl than someone would have expected.
“Benjamin Karl highly concetrated in the gate jungle
"I made a mistake yesterday, and you know how it is with mistakes. They make you think too much so you end up thinking if you are still in shape in the new year.
I tried to stop this, and I was able to enjoy racing today which finally led to the win. I had a great team partner which made it easy for me to race. Today was a good redemption,” the four-time world champion, who had finished in a disappointing 23rd position yesterday, said.
His congenial parter Ulbing stated: “What happens right now is so cool. I tried to open the door for Benjamin [Karl] today in our heats, and that worked out fine. However, I never thought to drive home from Bad Gastein with two World Cup wins under my belt.”
SUI2 consisting of Olympic champion Patrizia Kummer and 2014 Sochi silver medallist Nevin Galmarini who won the event two years ago came in second making Galmarini extremely happy:
“The race was very cool. I like it here anyway. There are always a lot of people watching, and it is a great atmosphere.
Two years ago we were able to win here, today we got second. And as I placed fourth yesterday it has been two perfect days for me.”
Local favourites of AUT3 Claudia Riegler and Andreas Prommegger, the oldest pair competing today, rounded out the podium as third with Swiss duo Julie Zogg and Dario Caviezel missing the podium as fourth.
In the team event, the second racer starts as soon as the first one has crossed the finish line.
While the snowboard World Cup tour continues with this season's first slopestyle competition on January 13 and 14 at Kreischberg (AUT) already, the raceboard specialists will get back to business at the parallel giant slalom race in Rogla (SLO) on January 28.