Ischgl (AUT). Perfect conditions made the fourth Parallel Slalom as part of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup a real fun competition today on the Idalpe at Ischgl, Austria. Matthieu Bozzetto from France and Austria’s Manuela Riegler got the NOKIA World team a double today again and by this also repeated the result of last week’s race at Tandadalen.
Pure sunshine and temperatures around minus six degrees centigrate pulled a good crowd of about 2,000 people to attend today’s head-to-head racing in Parallel Slalom. NOKIA World team rider Matthieu Bozzetto had won every Slalom race so far this season and managed to add another one to that list also at Ischgl. Facing Austria’s Dieter Krassnig in the final duel the French crashed in the first run but this did not seem to bother him at all. When the same happened to Krassning in the second run Bozzetto made up the time and took his fourth consecutive Parallel Slalom gold. “I’ve won every slalom this season,” he said, “and it looks like the others feel a lot of pressure and already think about losing the heat whenever they get to meet me for a duel. I don’t think it’s good that they feel like that, it even looks like they are afraid of me… There’s a couple or riders to fear for me and I did not ride at 100 percent today. When had I crashed against Krassnig I knew I had to be fast in the second run to put some pressure on him and I worked it out again.” Krassnig ended up second and confirmed Bozzetto’s quote: “I think I had too much respect for Bozzetto. I had it in my hands leading after the first run but then I made a mistake and could not make it up again. He is for sure the strongest rider right now and I thought there was nothing to lose, that’s why I attacked and won in the first run. Maybe it was also a question of luck today.” His teammates Felix Stadler and Alexander Koller faced each other in the duel for third place. After Koller had won the first run with just 11 hundreds of a second he finally had to leave it with Stadler who made up the time in the second run and took the bronze with 35 hundreds of a second.Bozzetto is further leading the Parallel World Cup standings ahead of his teammate and friend Nicolas Huet who did not even make it to the quarter finals today and finished ninth. Stadler moved up to third.
NOKIA World team rider Manuela Riegler seemed to have more confidence today after she had won already last weekend. The Austrian faced Germany’s Sandra Farmand for the final duel and managed to win both runs. “The further I advanced the more I forced myself to stay relaxed,” she said, “and it really worked today, even in the second runs. Slalom is my favourite discipline anyway and it looks like I get used to it again. The bib numbers 8 and 13 seem to get me luck, I had those at both races I won last year and this season but I hope I can keep on like this no matter which bib I’m wearing.” Farmand took the silver and was happy: “This is my third time on second place and I loved to win a race once, but Manu had terrific runs while I made too many mistakes in the finals. I didn’t feel well after I’ve just passed through a tooth operation last week and only got here yesterday, so I’m fine with second place.” Karine Ruby from France met Manu’s sister Claudia in the duel for third place and claimed the bronze.France’s Isabelle Blanc is still leading the standings although she was beaten by Ruby in the quarter finals and ended up sixth today. Manuela Riegler keeps the second place ahead of Ruby.