French and Spanish teams victorious at Team SBX Montafon
France's top women pair Nelly Moenne Loccoz and Chloe Trespeuch as well as Spanish racers Regin Hernandez and Lucas Eguibar have clinched the win at this season's first team snowboard cross event staged at Montafon, Austria.
Facing superb weather conditions on a once again perfectly prepared boarder cross course, last year's winners of FRA1, who had both appeared in the single race final two days ago going home with a respective fourth and second rank, dominated the women's final in style and bringing home back-to-back wins in Montafon after Moenne Loccoz had successfully gunned for the hole shot and her teammate Trespeuch kept full control of the chasing pack.
It was the perfect redemption for Moenne Loccoz who had just missed out the women's podium last Friday as unlucky fourth:
“I'm really happy to win the team event. I was really disappointed after I finished fourth here two days ago. It's good to be back on the podium. We won here last year, and now we did it again. I guess nobody can catch us when racing together [smiles],” she said before adding:
“Seriously, I like the team event. You are more relaxed, and he pressure is on two not on you all alone.”
In a tight duel for second, Raffaella Brutto and Michaela Moioli prevented a French 1-2 punch as the two members of ITA1 just crossed the finish line ahead of FRA2 consisting of up-and-coming talents Manon Petit and Charlotte Bankes.
Spanish riders with historic triumph
In the men's competition, Spanish athletes of ESP1 Regino Hernandez and Lucas Eguibar secured the first team sbx win for their home country in a nail-biting final with plenty of passing and changes of the lead.
Eguibar made the decisive move on Emanuel Perathoner (ITA) and Markus Schairer (AUT) who were battling for the first spot in a super close heat - which was the best proof why this thrilling format will be part of the 2017 wold championships in Spain for the first time next March - taking the inside line between turn three and four.
“I'm super happy. We have been working a lot during summer. On Friday, I was very unlucky crashing out in the eight finals. So today was the day for me,” described Eguibar who made his teammate Hernandez very happy:
“It's amazing. It's my first World Cup win. Have this first place is just incredible.
We knew we would be fast as we saw this in the qualification for the individual competition. I'm good at the start, and Lucas is really good when he is chasing the others. So it's a perfect match.”
In the end, Perathoner and his ITA1 teammate Omar Visintin, yesterday's runner-up, secured the second rank ahead of USA2 with Alex Deibold and Nick Baumgartner who capitalised on a crash of Schairer (team AUT1) on the last metres of the home stretch.
The snowboard cross World Cup tour will now take a break over the festive season returning for its second stop in Solitude (USA), the host of the 2019 sbx world championships races, where one single and one team event will be staged from January 19 till 22, 2017.