World Champions dominate Sudelfeld, Kreiner secures PGS World Cup title
Reigning world champions Ester Ledecka (CZE) and Andrey Sobolev have triumphed in the parallel giant slalom event at Sudelfeld, Germany which was the first race of the FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour to be ran in the re-run format.
Ledecka edged off Switzerland's Julie Zogg in a heart beat final with the tiny advantage of only 6 hundredths to the second rank claiming her career's third and season's second win.
“It was amazing,” the Prague resident said. “The first runs were a bit difficult but when the sun came out and the clouds disappeared it got better and better. It was a perfect day.”
Also for Marion Kreiner (AUT) who – after two pgs wins this season to her belt – claimed the third rank in the ladies' event beating last year's Sudelfeld runner-up Tomoka Takeuchi in the small final.
Due to this win, the Graz resident secured her career's second World Cup title early this season being uncatchable in the race for the pgs crystal globe with 2,600 points.
“I'm very happy about finishing in third position and winning the crystal globe. Now, I will focus on the overall standings. And you never know, maybe I can have a say in the psl ranking too,” Kreiner said.
While Kreiner celebrated her big title win, Nicolien Sauerbreij waved good bye to the fans.
One year after Sigi Grabner (AUT), another raceboard legend, had competed in his last World Cup event on the same slope, the 2010 Olympic Champion, who finished in seventh position today, announced her retirement after 236 World Cup starts:
“It was well thought through. After Sochi I said, I want to go one more season, and have fun with it. Today was the perfect ending. I always liked Sudelfeld, and it was a nice career end for me.”
Ever since her debut back in November 1996 the 35-year-old Dutch rider earned a total of 22 podium finishes of which eight were wins. In addition, the four-time Olympian won silver in the psl event of the 2011 world championships in La Molina, Spain.
In the men's competition, Sobolev came out successful of the first ever all-Russian male big final of the tour bringing home his career's first World Cup win against Vic Wild (RUS) in the battle of the reigning world champion facing the reigning Olympic champion.
“It was a wonderful race! I cannot say much. I'm overwhelmed by my first win,” the rising star of the scene stated.
Zan Kosir (SLO) rounded out the men's podium as third.
While the Slovenian (2,000) lost the PGS World Cup lead to Wild (2,120) with only one more race to come in Japan end of February, the two-time Olympic medallist is still comfortably leading the Alpine Snowboard Overall World Cup ranking with 3,800.
Last year's winner on the 480 metres long Waldkopf slope Sylvain Dufour (FRA) had to settle for rank four.
But that wasn't everything FIS and Local Organisers had in store at today's race. After the official price giving ceremony, the first ever super final went down featuring the ladies' and men's winner battling for some extra money.
And it was Ledecka who capitalized on the advantage of being allowed to choose the course side and enter the slope with an advantage of three seconds finally bringing home some additional € 1,500.
“I never did anything like this before. It was fun for sure,” Ledecka summed up this special duel while Sobolev was a good sport adding: “I think it's really interesting to have some new things at FIS races.”