Moioli and Vaultier prevail in first Feldberg sbx
Michela Moioli (ITA) and Pierre Vaultier (FRA) have claimed victory in the first event of the back-to-back snowboard cross World Cup races staged in Feldberg, Germany this weekend.
Facing better weather conditions and vision on the 650 metres long course than in yesterday's qualifiers, Moioli came out successful of a start to finish battle with World Cup leader Belle Brockhoff (AUS) in the women's final.
Taking the better line in the first left turn, Moioli took the lead and kept hold to it until the finish line despite several attacks of Brockhoff therefore taking home her career's fourth World Cup win.
“It was very difficult today, a lot of fighting in the semis and finals. I'm really happy. I needed this victory as the last races didn't turn out as I wanted. I can't wait to race tomorrow,” said Moioli after the price giving ceremony.
Her rival for the win from down under stated: “It was really fun. I made a few mistakes in the final but you know, it happens sometimes and costs a little speed but I'll take the second place for that.”
Especially as Brockhoff was able to keep the momentum ever since her win at the World Cup opener in Montafon, Austria extending her World Cup lead (3,200) on Olympic champion Eva Samkova (CZE; 2,650) who finished in eight position today:
“I wouldn't expect to be that consistent going into the season although I always try to ride my best every single time. The girls are really good, and it's definitely going up each year. It's good, it's pushing our sport, but I haven't been as consistent as I have been so far. So, I'm really happy.”
Another lucky girl on the podium was Meryeta Odine as she Canadian racer secured her career's first podium result while Alexandra Jekova (BUL) had to settle for fourth after her hopes for a better result were dashed crashing in the landing of the first jump.
Vaultier does it again
Over in the men's event, the big final – also raced as heat of four – was even closer than the thrilling spectacle the ladies had delivered before.
Pierre Vaultier, who had been beaten in the Bansko race in a photo finish decision last weekend, had the luck on his side today this time crossing the finish line ahead of Lucas Eguibar (ESP) in a great blink of the eye final to clinch his career's 18th.
The photo finish decision in the men's final
“I haven't been thinking about the photo finish in Bansko, but yes, it is a good redemption today even though it has been another rival,” he said whilst also knowing that there is still some room to improve:
“I didn't see or hear him coming as I'm goofy. So, I might have won but it has also been quite a lesson because I didn't expect Lucas to be there.”
Nevertheless, Vaultier, who had placed second and first in the sprint-format races at Feldberg last year, seems to have a special connection with the Seebuck slope.
“There is something, that's true although it was tough this time with the adverse weather in qualifiers. That was challenging. But today everything came together to make it a perfect one,” he added.
And while the father of one had another great result to celebrate in the German Black Forest, Lucas Eguibar was also pleased – despite the fact being beaten by inches:
“That was so close. But you know what, I'm not disappointed at all. I didn't have a good start into the season, so I'm happy with the result. Especially as we are close to the home soil world champs. I'm ready for the next races.”
Omar Visintin (ITA), who has been racing every big final this season so far, rounded out the podium as third ahead of Regino Hernandez (ESP) therefore taking over the lead in the men's World Cup ranking with 2,650 points from Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT; 2,500) who finished in fifth position today.
The snowboard cross World Cup tour continues tomorrow with the second event of the Feldberg double with the finals scheduled for 12 PM CET and live TV on Eurosport Asia 1, BNT, SFR Sport 3, Ziggo Sport Extra 2 and live streaming on cbc.ca.
Full results of this season's fourth snowboard cross World Cup staged in Feldberg today can be viewed online.