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World Cup leaders Tudegesheva and Karl win parallel giant slalom at Stoneham / Karl, still unbeaten in 2011, keeps on writing
Monday, 21 February 2011
The pgs podium Stoneham:
1. Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) 1. Benjamin Karl (AUT)
2. Claudia Riegler (AUT) 2. Andreas Prommegger (AUT)
3. Marion Kreiner (AUT) 3. Matthew Morison (CAN)
4. Caroline Calve (CAN) 4. Roland Fischnaller (ITA)
With their triumphs in the season’s third parallel giant slalom of the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup held today in Stoneham, Quebec, Parallel World Cup leaders Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) have impressively underlined why they are bearing the yellow bibs. In the women’s final of the race board event which wrapped up the several days lasting Snowboard Jamboree, the Russian athlete beat Austria’s Claudia Riegler. In the battle for third, Marion Kreiner (AUT) crossed the finish line ahead of Caroline Calve (CAN). On the men’s side, Karl relegated – just as in 2008 and 2010 – team mate Andreas Prommegger to the second rank. Matthew Morison of Canada finished third, Roland Fischnaller (ITA) fourth.
Karl’s career’s twelfth World Cup win, the fourth consecutive one in Stoneham, not only secured some more 1,000 points in the race for the coveted Crystal Globe but also another chapter in the World Cup history books. The 2010 Olympic Games runner-up was able to clinch a historical five-peat. Six years ago, Philipp Schoch (SUI) was the last one to claim five consecutive victories. In the 2004/2005 season, the Olympic Champion of 2006 and 2010 was victorious in the last five races.
“I’m so happy that I equalled the record. By having had the four-peat already, I was so close to it. But you know it can be all over so quickly. Today, it’s party time,” said Karl. That he now is also in the comfortable situation of becoming the only one with six in a row - the next race is a parallel slalom scheduled in Moscow beginning of March - the rider from Lower Austria didn’t have on the radar yet. “I didn’t even think of this. So, at the moment, I cannot put in words what this would mean to me.”
The double World Champion of 2011, who is still unbeaten this year, couldn’t even be stopped by a knee injury suffered during the finals. “In the quarter finals my right knee got hit by a stubby. It hurts like hell right now but during the race it was all fine.” In the end, things turned out to conclude like two times in the last three years in Stoneham before: with a private battle for victory: Karl vs. Prommegger, which in the end the World Cup leader won again.
“It’s always a tough fight with Andi (Prommegger). We both are able to hit the gates as directly as possible in the steep section. I kind of learned how to do this from him. I think going as straight as you can is the key to success at this hill. I guess, now, I can start calling this hill my living room. And I hope, the Canadians don’t change slopes for the 2013 World Championships,” said Karl with a twinkle in his eye.
Prommegger, again the defeated competitor in this duel, was pleased with the result but also honest to admit that “I’m feeling a bit riled as I really wanted to win. I like this hill. But Benji (Karl) is super strong which he proofed once again today. And as I didn’t get along so well in the training yesterday, I’m still happy with the second rank.”
After the snowboard week in Stoneham and Quebec, the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup continues in Canada. In Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park, the season’s first slopestyle and fourth halfpipe contest finals are scheduled for February 26th.