Bozzetto and Blanc Win SL

Les Gets/Morzine (FRA). After the Slalom riders of the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup have not been very lucky with the weather so far and the first two races in Tandadalen (Sweden) and Kaprun (AUT) had to be cancelled, the season’s first Parallel Slalom was held today at Morzine. In exciting head-to-head duels Matthieu Bozzetto and Isabelle Blanc made it a double victory for France.

Rain had been announced for today but it stayed dry and the Slalom riders really enjoyed the conditions at Morzine. Last year’s Slalom World Cup champion “Mr. Bombastic” Matthieu Bozzetto, who has also discovered his capabilities in Giant Slalom this year and captured good results there, once again proved his outstanding skills in the Slalom today. He met his teammate and friend Nicolas Huet (who is also one of his strongest rivals) in the semi finals and could beat him by the length of a nose only to advance to the finals. There he met Dieter Krassnig from Austria who also looked really strong today but there seemed to be no means to beat the French who finally got his third World Cup win this season under his belt. “It’s quite simple,” he said, “I don’t like packed snow and although I was first after the qualifications I didn’t feel very confident for the finals with eight runs at those conditions. When the temperature raised and the slope became a big softer and it was perfect for the finals, good carving. Usually the top three riders do not care that much for the first two final runs but I’ve given 100 percent from the very beginning…” Krassnig, who crashed in the first final run and missed a gate in the second took the sliver. Sweden’s Richard Richardsson won the consolation duel for third place against Huet.In the Parallel World Cup standings Bozzetto and Huet celebrated a premiere in the FIS World Cup today by sharing the yellow leader bib. Richardsson is in third place.

Isabelle Blanc who was already leading the Parallel standings with two wins in three races so far added another gold to her score by beating Italy’s Marion Posch today. “This was the revenge for the World Championships where Marion made it,” she said. “There’s always a lot of pressure when I have to race against Karine (Ruby) since there’s always competition between us in France. I knew I would have a chance to win if I can beat her and this is what happened in the semi finals… The Parallel is my favourite discipline and I think it’s also the best of snowboarding. It’s good that they have chosen the Parallel Giant Slalom for the Olympic programme now. There we can show the big difference of snowboarding compared to alpine skiing.” Germany’s Heidi Renoth finished third by beating Karine Ruby in the consolation round.Blanc is further leading the standings ahead of Margerita Parini from Italy, who went in fifth place today and the German Sandra Farmand who finished tenth in Morzine.

The World Cup heads on to Berchtesgaden, Germany, now where the next stage is scheduled for the upcoming weekend.