Michela Moioli (ITA) and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) clinched the last race of the Olympic rehearsal events for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
In the season's fourth FIS Snowboard World Cup snowboard cross race, which was staged in the “Extreme Park” at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort on a well prepared course, the fifth ranked rider of the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Championships celebrated here career's first in slight snow fall.
In the women's finals, 17-years-old up-and-coming talent Moioli edged off Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) and Helene Olafsen (NOR) to the second and third rank.
“I'm very happy. This place is fantastic. The course has been very good. I love this course,” said Moioli.
It was the second SBX World Cup win of the Italian women's team. The so far only triumph dates back to 2000, when Carmen Ranigler won the snowboard cross in Schoenried, Switzerland.
“Izzy” kills it on men's side
On the men's side of things, Alessandro Haemmerle, the Younger of the Haemmerle-Brothers, also celebrated his career's first and thus broke an almost four years lasting streak without a SBX triumph for Austria.
“I can't really describe what is happing right now. It's unbelievable that I won this race. But I guess, I really deserved this win today although you always need a little bit of luck too,” summed up “Izzy” Haemmerle his feelings.
“Winning on the Olympic hill is like setting an example. And of course hopes are high now to do as good as today on this course next year.”
However, his team mate Markus Schairer (AUT), who finished third today behind of Alex Deibold (USA) and was the last Austrian to win a snowboard cross race (March 13, 2009, La Molina, Spain), knows, that winning a rehearsal event doesn't necessarily lead to top result when it counts.
“This weekend was incredible. After my trainings crash on Friday, I didn't really think that I would be able to race here at all. But in the end, it worked out.
I don't want to overestimate today's third with an eye to the Olympics. In Vancouver, I also did win the rehearsal and screwed up in the Olympic race,” explained “Max” Schairer.
Alex Deibold, who brought home his career's first podium, maybe found the best words to describe today's race.
“The conditions today made it pretty challenging. There was some hole shots, crashers and a lot of passes. It was pretty tight racing for most of the day. So I would call it a complete race. I'm very happy with my first podium.
I've been enjoying this course since day one. I've been saying the whole week that this has been the best World Cup course.”
The next snowboard cross World Cup race will be staged in Arosa beginning of March.
Dominique Maltais (CAN, 3,000 points) and World Champion Alex Pullin (AUS, 2,550) will travel to Switzerland as SBX World Cup leaders.