The second of the two-day FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup event in Bannoye went down on Sunday, with Julie Zogg (SUI) and Dmitry Loginov (RUS) taking big victories in a parallel giant slalom competition that looked like it might not happen for much of the day.
While skies were clear over Bannoye on Sunday, heavy morning winds forced the delay of qualification runs and consequently also the finals. However, luck would end up being on the event’s side, and as the winds would die down so an exciting day of racing could take place under mostly blue skies and in front of a numerous crowd that gather around the finish line in Bannoye.
In the women’s it was parallel slalom specialist and reigning PSL World Cup champion Julie Zogg of Switzerland who would finally step things up in her favourite discipline and reached a long-awaited victory, her first of the 2020/21 season.
On Sunday Zogg impressed with her riding throughout the entire day, first setting the fastest time in qualifications, and then beating some tough competition in the likes of Maria Volgina (RUS), her teammate Patrizia Kummer (SUI) and Tomaka Takeuchi (JPN), to finally meet Cheyenne Loch in the big final.
Once in the big final, Zogg had a rather easy task of bringing her first victory of the season down to the finish line, as Loch ran into some problems and crashed out after just a handful of gates. With Loch on the ground, Zogg cruised down and crossed the finish line in first place, for her first top spot since February 2020 and her second win in PSL competition here at the venue in Bannoye.
With Zogg on top of the podium, Loch finished the competition in second place. Despite an unlucky performance in the big final on Sunday, there is no doubt Loch will be heading back home very satisfied with two runner-up finishes over the weekend. Add to that two more top-3 finishes back in January in Bad Gastein, and there is no doubt that the 26-year-old German is experiencing the best season of her career.
Third place on the day went to the Japanese veteran Tomoka Takeuchi, who edged out Austria’s Sabine Schoeffmann in the small final matchup to earn her first spot on the podium since 2016/17 season.
In the PSL World Cup ranking it’s still Sofia Nadyrshina leading the way with 220 points after three events. However, Zogg has now closed the gap to just 25 points, and thus it will be all up to the final PSL World Cup event in Rogla (SLO) to decide who will be wrapping up the 2020/21 World Cup campaign with a parallel slalom crystal globe in her hands.
Moving over to the men’s portion of the competition in Bannoye, it was once again Dmitry Loginov who was a man on the mission all weekend long, as he stormed to repeat his Saturday’s performance in PGS, claiming back-to-back victories on the weekend by taking top spot in the PSL event.
Loginov started the day strong by putting down the fastest time in qualifications. In the finals Loginov would start out by besting Nevin Galmarini (SUI), before dispatching Fabian Obmann (AUT) and then Dario Caviezel (SUI) on his way to the big final, where he would face down his younger teammate Stepan Naumov.
As on Saturday, also on Sunday Loginov was simply unbeatable, going supremely fast and explosive. And despite all the efforts, Naumov just couldn’t catch up on a fast pace set by his older teammate and lost control in the middle section. Loginov, on the other hand, would make no mistake as he crossed the finished line with his hands high above to celebrate his second victory of the weekend and his career’s fourth World Cup top spot.
Loginov has been showcasing excellent form lately and appears to be peaking at just the right time this season, as we’ll now be now heading into the Rogla 2021 World Championships, where Loginov will be looking to defend his double gold medal performance from the Utah 2019 world champs. Taking into account his recent results, it would be hard not to consider the 21 year-old as one of top favourites to take the gold in both PGS and PSL competitions once again, three weeks from now.
Though he did lose out to his more experienced teammate, nevertheless 19 year-old Naumov recorded his career’s best result on Sunday, scoring his first top-3 in just his fifth World Cup start.
Third place on the day went to Andrey Sobolev, who came victorious against Dario Caviezel, to earn his first top-3 finish of the season, but most importantly to complete a historic all-Russian podium sweep. It was the first time that the Russian team took all three spots on the podium in the men’s snowboard alpine World Cup competition. However, we should mention here that it’s not the first time ever that the Russian team swept the World Cup podium, with Ekaterina Tudegesheva, Alena Zavarzina, Svetlana Boldykow being first to write the history for Russians already back in 2010 in the women’s PGS competition in Limone Piemonte (ITA).
Following his victory on Sunday, Loginov has moved atop the PSL World Cup standing, now leading the way with 180 points. Aaron March (ITA) has dropped to second place where he sits ex aequo alongside Dmitry Karlagachev (RUS) with 158 points.
The FIS Snowboard Alpine tour is now heading into a little break, just to come back in three weeks of time for the pinnacle event of the season - the 2021 FIS Snowboard Alpine World Championships - taking to the slope of Rogla (SLO) on March 1-2.