Kummer and Unterkofler with perfect start into the Alpine Snowboarding World Cup season
Patrizia Kummer (SUI) and Anton Unterkofler (AUT) have had a perfect start into the new season of the FIS Alpine Snowboarding World Cup being victorious at the parallel giant slalom race which took place in Carezza, Italy, today.
While reigning Parallel Overall World Cup title champion Kummer edged off last year's winner Tomoka Takeuchi (JPN) and 2013 Parallel Slalom World Champion Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) to second and third thus claiming her career's eighth, Unterkofler, who had just made it to the round of the top-16 as 16th qualifier, celebrated his first World Cup win in South Tyrol.
“I can't believe it yet. I never thought of anything like that. I gave my best in every single run and now I'm first,” said the 30-year-old from St. Johann who had only two top-3 finishes in 78 start to his belt before nailing it today.
And the rider who hopes to compete in his first Olympics at Sochi next February knew why he came out first.
“Thanks God I managed to do well in the transition from the steep to the flat part. I barely did any mistakes which was key to success today.”
Zan Kosir (SLO) and Lukas Mathies (AUT) rounded out the men's podium as second and third, respectively.
Kummer gets along with Carezza World Cup slope
While Unterkofler was just happy with his racing and thus the first win of his career, Kummer couldn't really get it that she finally get along with the Pra di Tori slope which featured 20 parallel gates on 482 metres today.
“I'm stunned. Until today, I actually had always problems with this slope when we did parallel giant slalom races although I have won a parallel slalom here before. It's unbelievable.”
Especially as it was even harder to do well due to the competition schedule. For the first time in World Cup history, a parallel giant slalom was organised in the single run format.
In the single run format each head to head duel of the knock out rounds will bring only one decisive run with the faster rider directly advancing to the next round.
As another consequence of this format, not only the finals of the top 16 women and men will be even more dramatic but also the qualifiers as every duel's better ranked athlete of the time trials has the advantage of selecting the course to start on.
“It was tough with the single run format. I was able to chose the side to start on but which one would you take if the blue course is better at the top and the red one at the end. I decided that I will have a perfect run on the blue course and did so luckily in the finals.”