Austrian nationals kick off Europa Cup season

30 November 2016 22:02
Alesssandro Haemmerle (silver), Kristina Neussner (gold) and Julian Lueftner (gold) try to outshine their medals
Alesssandro Haemmerle (silver), Kristina Neussner (gold) and Julian Lueftner (gold) try to outshine their medals -
OESV

While the freestyle snowboarders are excited for their season's third big air this weekend, the snowboard cross athletes were finally able to compete in their first Europa Cup race staged on the Pitztal glacier today.

And while a deep international field had descended on Tyrol for a form check before heading further west to finally kick off their season at the Montafon World Cup opener, the hosting nation used the first of two races held in the Cross Park to decide its national championships.

In the women's event, Kristina Neussner kept hold to her title by being the only Austrian woman to survive the qualification cut finally ending up on the 14th rank overall while Belle Brockhoff (AUS) earned the EC win ahead of German national champ Hanna Ihedioha and Tess Critchlow from Canada.

“Well, I had my best run during training today. But all that matters today is the Austrian title,” Neussner stated.

On the men's side of things, Julian Lueftner came in second overall – only beaten by 2014-15 World Cup title winner Lucas Eguibar (ESP) – to bring home his career's second national title.

“I'm very proud to earn the title against such a strong team. Especially as the Europa Cup race was packed with lots of strong riders from the World Cup tour. I did well during qualifiers and in the heats, and I had a really fast board.

Today's performance is a confidence boost for the World Cup opener in two weeks,” he said.

The Europa Cup season continues tomorrow with another snowboard cross races at the same place.

For full results of today's event click here.