The FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup was in full racing mode on Saturday evening on the slopes of Cortina d’Ampezzo, where Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (GER) and Roland Fischnaller (ITA) took victories after an exciting and hard-fought evening of parallel giant slalom racing.
Perfect weather and a tricky course allowed the sport’s best to shine under the lights tonight, and with plenty of tight heats through out the evening, the competition in Cortina d’Ampezzo proved once again why the Italian stop is considered as one of the highlight events of the season.
In the women’s competition Hofmeister fought her way through to the big final by besting Jemina Juritz (AUT), Carolin Langenhorst (GER) and Claudia Riegler (AUT).
In the big final Hofmeister went against her teammate Selina Joerg, but this time she had an easy run to the finish line as Joerg slipped out on a turn right after the fourth gate. Hofmeister capitalised on Joerg’s mistake and cruised down the course for her second straight PGS World Cup triumph in 2019/20.
Joerg finished the competition in second place, while Claudia Riegler (AUT) rounded the podium in third after edging out Ruxin Zang (CHN) in women’s small final. It was another impressive performance for Joerg and Riegler, as both athletes scored their second podium of the season.
Over on the men’s side fans favourite Roland Fischnaller didn’t disappoint while competing in front of his home crowd. Despite though competition in likes of Dmitry Loginov (RUS), Maurizio Bormolini, Igor Sluev (RUS), Fischnaller confidently stormed into the big final.
Going against Sangho Lee (KOR) in the final heat of the day Fischnaller pulled out to an early half-second lead in the top part of the course. And while Lee battle hard, he could not close the gap on Fischnaller and so the 39-year-old snowboarder from Italy’s South Tyrol region claimed his second consecutive World Cup victory.
With another top spot Fischnaller scored a classic “hat-trick” on course in Cortina, racing to victories in each of the last three races in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Crossing the line 0.86 second behind the Fischnaller, Lee finished the Saturday’s competition in second place, also earning his career’s third World Cup podium.
Third place on the day went to Igor Sluev (RUS) as he came out on top of the small final against Lukas Mathies (AUT). 20-year-old Sluev came with a surprise podium run in Cortina for his very first top-3 finish in World Cup.
From Cortina d’Ampezzo, the FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup tour immediately turns around and jumps over the pass to Cortina for another PGS competition just five days away from now on Thursday, December 19.