Claudia Riegler writes history in Bad Gastein
© FIS Snowboard

It was a remarkable scene at the 19 th edition of the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Bad Gastein (AUT) on Tuesday evening, as 45-year-old Claudia Riegler (AUT) triumphed at her home soil event, taking Tuesday’s victory in a history-making performance. 

Riegler’s victory was a monumental one, as she became the oldest competitor to win a FIS Snowboard World Cup competition, topping the mark set by Canadian Jasey Jay Anderson nearly three years. Riegler’s parallel slalom win on Tuesday came nearly 18 years after she first competed in Bad Gastein, when she claimed 20th place at the very first competition staged there in 2001.

She earned the win in dominant fashion against riders nearly half her age, first by topping the field in qualifications, then by dispatching Nadya Ochner (ITA) and Ladina Jenny (AUT), and finally by out-riding 28-year-old Aleksandra Krol (POL) in the big final. 

“It’s the first time in my career I’ve worn the yellow bib in an individual competition,” Riegler said, after taking the first PSL win of the season, “In the team event I had it last year for the first time, and now in individual. I guess I had to turn 45 (laughing). For me, everything is taking a while.”

“The season started tough for me, with crashes in qualification at Carezza and Cortina. Usually I love giant slalom more, but I’ve had a really good feeling in slalom training this season, with a new board that’s really helping me to make better turns. And there were so many people here and cheering for me, and I felt really confident.”