Another French Double Gold in FIS PSL

Berchtesgaden (GER). Pure excitement again at today’s Parallel Slalom as part of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup in Berchtesgaden. With Matthieu Bozzetto and Isabelle Blanc taking the gold the French once more dominated the competition.

After two bright and sunny days at Berchtesgaden snow falls had started last night also continued this morning during the qualification for the season’s second Parallel Slalom race and just stopped in time for the finals. NOKIA team rider Matthieu Bozzetto was the number one contender for another victory but it did not turn out to be such a clear thing for him today.

As usual in Parallel racing there were always two runs to do in each heat, one on the red and one on the blue course, and the French seemed to have big problems with the red. However none of his rivals was able to beat him on that blue course and he finally managed to get another gold under his belt. “I was very fast today,” he said, “but I always made big mistakes one the red although this was the easier one. The worse I did there the better it went on the other, incredible. It was like being two different racers in one person on the hill, a really bad one on the red and an extremely good one on the blue. I just could not believe what was going on there. All in all I’m really happy with the race.”

Felix Stadler from Austria for the first time made it to a Parallel final today and claimed his second podium this weekend. “It was funny,” he said, “with bib number 13 I finished third in the PGS on Friday and took it as an omen that I had the 12 today. Bib 11 would be fine next time…”

Germany’s Markus Ebner looked like he could beat the reigning World Champion Nicolas Huet in the duel for third place but finally had to leave it to the French and finished fourth.

Bozzetto is now leading the Parallel standings ahead of Huet. Stephen Copp from Sweden who was eliminated by Bozetto in the quarter finals today and ended up sixth place is in third dropped back to third.

Isabelle Blanc again completed the French double with taking the gold in the women’s head-to-head duels. She felt pretty confident on both slopes but has just put everything into every single run. “It’s phantastic,” she said, “I felt really good and safe today. It was nice to race against Karine (Ruby) although it’s always big pressure to race against each other. I know she’s strong and I had to fight hard but it’s good that she’s back… Nobody is easy to race against in the finals and you always have to put 200 percent into every run.Nina Schlegel from Austria finished third by beating Sweden’s Sara Fischer. Schlegel could not believe it herself: “I don’t know what to say,” she said, overwhelmed, “I just tried to make it to anywhere top 20 but when I qualified for the finals I thought I could even get to the top eight. The further I made it the more the pressure grew. I’m really happy.”Blanc is further leading the Parallel standings ahead of Manuela Riegler from Austria who took fifth place today. Italy’s Margerita Parini is in third after having finished 12th.

The World Cup riders travel on to Schönried (SUI) now where the next stage is scheduled for the upcoming week featuring Giant Slalom and Snowboard Cross.