The top favourites claimed victory in the first parallel race of the 2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season. In the SnowWorld Landgraaf, Holland, Amelie Kober (GER) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) secured victory in the sole indoor race of the World Cup winter. The German rider successfully competed in the ladies' final of the Parallel Slalom against reigning World Cup title holder from Austria Doris Guenther. Her fellow countrywoman Claudia Riegler (AUT) placed third after she had crossed the finish line in the small final ahead auf Australia's Johanna Shaw. On the men's side, the 2009 Parallel Slalom World Champion from Austria was able to beat Mathieu Bozzetto (FRA). Canada's Jasey Jay Anderson rounded out the podium as third relegating Aaron March to the fourth spot - a career's best for the Italian.
Both winners came as no real surprise as both are well-known at the SnowWorld Landgraaf. While Benjamin Karl kept hold to his last year's victory at the season's first parallel slalom, Kober slowly but steady rises to the position of being "Miss Landgraaf" as today's triumph was her third after 2006 and 2007. However, the "fridge of the World Cup" won't be called her "living room" as "it is way to cold and uncomfortable inside. But actually, it is a place I really like" the 21-years-old talent said.
But the 2006 Olympic Silver medallist also hopes - despite gotten off to a dream start - that "the season will end up more successful than the last ones I had after having won the kick off of the alpine snowboarding season. But I'm very happy that I was able to tie up to the last season." Last year, Kober had impressed with a very strong and solid finish by winning all last four race of the winter thus also clinching the Parallel World Cup title. And the Miesbach resident brought home today's eight win of her career in the same style although she also benefitted from a riding mistake of her final contender. "I'm very pleased with my riding. I felt confident throughout the whole day and had a very good feeling."
Despite her loss in the final, Doris Guenther, who had won last year's race at SnowWorld, was also satisfied with her season's opener: "Well, there was a chance of doing even better but in the end I got to close to one gate" she said. However, the 31-years-old Olympic hopeful of Austria didn't have any expectations before entering today's contest. "I got here with a cold which is not the best precondition for an indoor race. Due to that I'm very happy about the second rank."
Special praise for Bozzetto
The same was true for Mathieu Bozzetto who celebrated a terrific comeback after a competition break of more than one year being only beaten by Benjamin Karl in the big finals. "I'm very happy. I was so fast today, it was just unbelievable. Unfortunately I lost my concentration in the final two runs." Until then, the 35-year-old rider from Val D'Isere who has collected the most World Cup wins so far on the men's side (35), was on a very good way to claim the 36th triumph which also impressed later on winner Benjamin Karl.
The Austrian was very delighted that he had made the right choice by watching the Frenchman ride. "I knew that I wouldn't have a chance at all if I would go on with my riding like I did in the first rounds. So I took over his line for the finals and took some wider turns around the gates. That worked out very well. I have to thank him." In addition, also the men's winner took advantage of a mistake of his contender whom the 23-years-old shooting star of the Austrian parallel team paid some respect after the race: "It's amazing how he came back after such a long break. OK, I know that he wouldn't forget how to snowboard but this was impressive. He is an inspiring example."