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FIS - Isabella Dal Balcon and Rok Flander celebrate first World Cup triumphs at Kronplatz
Thursday, 14 December 2006
On the women side, Italian Isabella Dal Balcon secured her career’s first ever World Cup triumph due to an easy victory over Ekatarina Tudigescheva (RUS) in the ladies’ final. Isabella Laboeck from Germany came in third after a spectacular chase for Svetlana Boldikova (RUS) who had to be pleased with the fourth rank.
In San Vigilio di Marebbe, Rok Flander also jumped on the top spot for the first time. In the men’s final on the “Pré da Peres”-slope, the Slovenian rider came in 0.97 seconds ahead of Austrian Siegfried Grabner. In the battle for third, current World Cup leader Simon Schoch (SUI) crossed the finish line ahead of Isidor Sustersic from Slovenia.
“That was my first podium, my first victory ever and this in my home country”, summarised Isabella Dal Balcon today’s race. The winner of the ladies’ qualification further on: “It’s unbelievable because prior to the season I was thinking of retiring from the active sport. And now this. It’s just crazy. After all the problems we had in the team after the Olympics, this victory belongs to the whole team!”
Rok Flander, who was the most constant rider today, said after the finals: “I knew that my training would pay off sometime!” In the last contest in Soelden, he had to accept that Simon Schoch was faster relegating him to the second rank. But at Kronplatz, he was able to beat the Olympic Silver medallist in the semi finals. In addition, the good performance of the Slovenian squad didn’t surprise the 27 years-old at all: “At the moment, I was sure to be one of the strongest riders in the World Cup. Thus, I knew that if my team mates could catch up to me they would be able to surprise in the World Cup, too.” Asked for the upcoming World Championships 2007 in Arosa he explained: “In Arosa, everything is possible. But I want to win Gold in the Parallel Slalom.”
Number of participants / participating nations: 108 / 18
Weather: sunny, perfect race conditions, -6 to 0°C
Snow Conditions: good
Special Remarks: tough slope which didn’t allow any mistakes www.fis-ski.com.