Asahikawa (Japan). The riders faced perfect conditions today for the sixth Parallel Giant Slalom of the 2000/2001 Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup in Asahikawa. Christophe Segura and Julie Pomagalski made it a French Double.
The qualification result has been a little different today with some of the top riders missing the finals. So did Mathieu Bozzetto from France, leader in the standings, Slovenia’s Dejan Kosir, German rider Markus Ebner and Richard Richardsson from Sweden. Austria’s Werner Ebenbauer has been the fastest this time and he presented himself in good shape also in the finals until he lost the duel against US rider Christopher J. Klug in the semi finals and went to the small final for third place only. Klug faced Christophe Segura from France, second after the qualifications, in the final heat for first and second and finally had to leave it with the French who won both runs. “I really liked racing today,” Segura said, “the conditions have been great and the course was in perfect shape. I didn’t care that it hasn’t been the steepest ever but I think a good racer needs to be able to rider any kind of course. I think it was great.”
Klug pulled second and looked a bit of both – happy and disappointed: “It was beautiful snow today, the sun was shining and it couldn’t have been a better race really,” he said. “I started out really good and my runs were just getting better and better, I just didn’t have my two best runs in the finals. Christoph is a big guy and carried a lot of speed onto the flat plus I made a few mistakes…”
Jasey Jay Anderson from Canada had made it to the semi finals and was beaten by Segura there to face Ebenbauer in the small final. Winning both runs there Anderson claimed the bronze. “This wasn’t a great hill for me,” he said, “but the conditions were in my favour today so I thought I could do it – I really had a chance for a while there but got lost in my runs against Segura since my head was all massed up but I had fun then again and it paid off.”
Bozzetto who finished 34th place finally kept the lead in the Parallel World Cup. His teammate Nicolas Huet moved up to second position after he had finished ninth place today. Richardsson dropped back to third.
French rider Juli Pomagalski made it her race today and claimed her first World Cup win ever. She has been seventh in the qualification and made her way up in the finals by beating Italy’s Dagmar Mair unter der Eggen, German rider Heidi Renoth and Marion Posch from Italy to meet US rider Rosey Fletcher in the finals. Fletcher had the advantage of 43 hundrets of a second in the first run bad made a mistake in the second and Pomagalski was safe for the first World Cup gold. “This is super, I’m so happy,” she said, smiling, “you always see others win World Cups and think it’s magic but now I did it. The course was a bit flat but it was exactly the same for everyone and it looks like it was perfect for me finally… I was feeling well, we had good training and it already worked pretty fine in the last few races.”
Rosey Fletcher went in second place and looked a bit disappointed. “The whole day I was riding against really strong girls,” she said, “and when it came up to the finals I felt a bit blown out. After the first run I thought I was still there but then I crashed…”
Carmen Ranigler and Marion Posch made the small final for third place an Italien duel which Posch won when her rival had made mistakes in both the first and the second run. “I’m happy with third,” she said, “the slope was very nice and did fit me a lot. Winning against Carmen was a great success since she is one of the top favourites this season. It’s good to get those good results in the Parallel Giant Slalom since this is the one at the Olympics but I still like to proof that I’m also a Slalom specialist…”
Ranigler went in fourth but took the yellow World Cup leader bib away from French rider Karine Ruby who was eliminated in the quarter finals and finshed fifth. She takes second place in the standings ahead of Fletcher.
The season’s eighth Halfpipe will be held tomorrow.