Tandadalen (SWE). With icy winds the day had started for today’s Parallel Slalom of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup and heavy snow falls during the finals made the head-to-head racing look completely different compared to yesterday. Winning the gold Matthieu Bozzetto from France and Austria’s Manuela Riegler made it the second consecutive double for the NOKIA World team this weekend.
Heavy snow falls have started about half an hour before the Parallel Slalom finals and changed the conditions completely. However, thanks to the good work of the gatekeepers on the hill, the slope was in pretty good shape for the entire competition. The two French friends Matthieu Bozzetto and Nicolas Huet, rivals in most parallel finals last season, for the first time met each other in the final duel this year and Bozzetto finally captured the third gold in the third slalom this season. “It was not easy today,” he said, “the snow was really hard and there were also some icy sections at one or two gates. The most important was to stay on the board and this was hard enough since I was so tired. One qualification and eight final runs both yesterday and today, that’s special, but it was great to race Nico in the finals again after quite a time.”
Bozzetto had almost missed to get there when he had to race against Sweden’s Stephen Copp in the semi finals and made a big mistake in the first run. Catching up with the Swede in the second he advanced by 37 hundreds of a second. Huet had looked safer when he won both semi final runs over US NOKIA team rider Anton Pogue but then he could not repeat this in the duel against Bozzetto. “I wanted to be in the finals with him today,” Huet said. “Everything went fine just until I met him. When he got ahead in the first run I just wanted to catch up with him but missed the third gate and also kind of lost some moral at that time. I might have been able to catch up with anyone else but with Matthieu it’s different.”
Pogue could beat Copp for third place.
Bozzetto further keeps the lead in the Parallel standings ahead of Huet and Copp who switched the position with Felix Stadler again after the Austrian did not make it to the quarter finals.
Austria’s Manuela Riegler had not one a race for quite some time and was really happy taking the gold today. “It took me more than one year to get back on top”, she said, obviously feeling relieved. “I knew I just had to be patient… There was this little piece of luck also but I got all my runs down properly. It was essential to stay concentrated since the course was set very tight and there have been some icy sections. It was not easy to find your rhythm.”
US rider Rosey Fletcher finished second after having dropped out in the second final run against Riegler. Isabelle Blanc from France could beat Italy’s Marion Posch in the duel for third place.Blanc is still leading the Parallel standings ahead of Riegler and Fletcher.
Two Halfpipe competitions are scheduled for tomorrow and the day after.
For further information contact: Britta Semmler (phone +49-172-810 68 22)