Title hat-trick for Pancochova and Hedberg at Kreischberg
The 2014 FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour concluded with a triumphant day for Sarka Pancochova (CZE) and Mans Hedberg (SWE). Both snowboarders were not only able to clinch the season's last slopestyle contest at Kreischberg, Austria, home of the first ever combined FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships next January, but also claimed the title in both, Slopestyle and Freestyle Overall World Cup due to their first rank today.
At the venue where she won her first ever World Cup event (halfpipe) more than three years ago, Pancochova scored 95.50 in her second run thus securing her career's third. A result, which also brought her the first two Crystal Globes of her career, too.
“Today is may day. I'm very happy. It's amazing. It's cool to win the FIS title after I won the slopestyle title on the World Snowboard Tour last year. I switched up things this time”, she said.
The fifth ranked rider of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games slopestyle event also explained that “my crash in Sochi looked worse than it was. It's often like this that the crashes which look bad aren't that bad at all. I didn't get hurt badly and was able to continue snowboarding right away. It wasn't a setback at all.”
Pancochova had a heavy bail during the slopestyle competition in Sochi breaking her helmet but was able to walk away without any injury.
Today, she underlined her statement of not being affected at all by the crash with a stunning run in soft snow conditions.
The top qualifier stomped a run consisting of switch boardslide to 50/50 backside 180 out on the first two rails, a cab 540 to backside 720 over the first two kickers and a ride on top of wall ride as well as boardslide 180 out in the last jibbing section before finishing things off in smooth style with a frontside 360.
The 23-year-old thus relegated 15-year-old comp surprise Henna Ikola (FIN, 83.00) and Klaudia Medlova (SVK, 76.00) to second and third. While both therefore earned their career's first top-3 results on the World Cup tour Medlova also became the second Slovakian rider in history to bring home a podium finish from a World Cup event.
Till today, Jana Sedova had been the only one after placing second in a parallel slalom at Kreischberg back in January 2001.
Hedberg goes for triple too
On the men's side of things, Petja Piiroinen (FIN, 85.25) and Philipp Kundratitz (AUT, 73.50) rounded out the podium next to Hedberg (SWE, 91.00) who opened up his chapter in the histroy books with his career's first World Cup win which thus equalled two Crystal Globes.
As a result the 20-year-old was a bit floored but finally was able to put his feelings into words: “It feels fantastic. It was a great day. I'm really happy. The event was very good. I got along well with the slush. So, that was good for me.”
The regular rider had answered Petja Piiroinen's second run with a switch frontside boardslide 270 out to switch backside boardslide 270 out in the top jib section, a switch backside 900 to backside 1080 double cork over the first two kickers and a frontside boardslide up on wall ride to frontside 1080 double cork to finish things off thus edging off the 2011 Big Air World Champion to second position capitalizing on being the last man to drop in the course built by Alli Zehetner (AUT).