Maltais and Schairer fastest qualifiers in Veysonnaz
While reigning Snowboard Cross World Cup title holder Dominique Maltais (CAN) is looking good on her four-peat mission having posted the best time in this afternoon's ladies' times trials for the penultimate snowboard cross World Cup race staged at Veysonnaz, Switzerland, 2009 World Champion Markus Schairer (AUT) seems to be ready for some Sochi redemption.
The Austrian top gun had been eliminated early during his 1/8 final run at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and is hungry for a top result in the last two remaining World Cup stops of the 2014 season.
The 2013 World Champs silver medallist nailed it on the 950 metres long course in 55.03 seconds this morning edging off David Bakes (CZE, 55.08), Sochi silver medallist Nikolay Olyunin (RUS, 55.11) and Lucas Eguibar (SPA, 55.13) to second, third and fourth.
Spanish rocket Eguibar thus is the main threat for current World Cup leader Omar Visintin (ITA, 56.46) in the World Cup title race as the Italian athlete struggled with the course and his hip problems suffered in a crash in the Sochi semi finals only qualifying as 31st after two runs.
While the South Tyrolean will have to fight hard in tomorrow's knock out rounds to hold his rivals at bay, Maltais' best time of 57.38 should give the Canadian leader of the female tour ranking a confidence boost to make a huge step in direction of her fifth career Crystal Globe.
Especially as Olympic Champion Eva Samkova (CZE) was the only one to come close in 57.56. According to their times, both girls would have made the men's finals, too.
Lindsey Jacobellis (USA, 58.22) and Alexandra Jekova (BUL, 58.52) finished as third and fourth of the time trials thus also leading a 1/4 heat of six tomorrow.
The finals will kick off with the 1/8 runs of the men at 12 PM (CET).
BNT (Bulgaria), BEINSPORTS (France), MTV3 (Finland) NTV+ (Russia), Orange Sport (Poland) and universalsports.com (USA) will broadcast the finals live.
Eurosport 2 as well as RAI Sport 2 will air the finals in a live delayed show at 3:30 PM (CET) and 6 PM (CET) respectively.
Here are the qualifier results of today:
Here are the start lists for tomorrow's finals: