Samkova and Visintin triumph in Erzurum SBX
Eva Samkova (CZE) and Omar Visintin (ITA) have won the first ever Snowboard Cross World Cup race in Turkey which was staged today in Erzurum, part of the Ejder 3200 resort.
While it was an historical event for the hosting country with Erzurum becoming the third ever Turkish host of Snowboard World Cup events, the sixth of twelve races this season was also a first format-wise.
Due to the bad weather over the past two days with hurricane-like winds, organisers had been forced to cancel the training and qualifiers.
As a result, today's finals were staged with all women and men after the mandatory training with the women starting with eighth finals and the men with 16th finals. However, the format change didn't really affect the top guys in the field.
In the women's final, reigning Olympic Champion Samkova celebrated a perfect comeback in her first race since injuring her shoulder during training for the Val Thorens (FRA) boarder cross beginning of last December.
Battling hard for the win with her three rivals in the women's finals Samkova crossed the finish line first to take home her career's eighth ahead of Chloe Trespeuch (FRA) who therefore took over the World Cup lead from Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) who sat out the event in Turkey.
Michela Moioli (ITA) who had won the last two races of the World Cup tour rounded out the podium as third with Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) being forced to settle for fourth.
In the men's event, Visintin secured a back-to-back win after having triumphed in Cervinia, Italy right before the Christmas break.
Having once again the best finish in an exciting battle with a lot of position changes the 28-year-old South Tyrolean passed Pierre Vaultier (FRA) just like in Italy a few weeks ago on the home stretch snatching his career's fourth with Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) coming in third.
Nick Baumgartner (USA) finished in fourth position while World Cup leader Alex Pullin (AUS) came in eighth and therefore defended his number one spot in the rankings.
The SBX World Cup tour will continue tomorrow with the season's second SBX Team event also scheduled on the 750 metres long course in Erzurum, Turkey. The finals are slated for 9:30 CET with live timing info available here.
Live TV information can be checked here.