Ledecka and Yankov celebrate perfect season start
Ester Ledecka (CZE) and Radoslav Yankov (BUL) claimed victory in this season's first parallel giant slalom on the FIS alpine snowboard World Cup tour which in Carezza (ITA) today.
Yankov's win was unexpected as he became the first-ever male Bulgarian to win a snowboard World Cup event.
“I can't say anything. I mean it was the first time, I made it to the finals, and then I end up winning a World Cup. I can't believe what just happened,” said the 25-year-old who could have already earned the title '(not so young) rookie of the year' due to his exciting race already.
In 52 starts before his breakthrough performance, the tall Bulgarian had earned a career best 18th place, twice (Carezza and Asahikawa, Japan last season).
In his career's first head-to-head show-down on the World Cup level, he owned the 482m long course which was flagged with 20 gates on the Pra di Tori slope finally beating reigning world champion Andrey Sobolev (RUS) by only 0.05 seconds in the men's final.
Nevin Galmarini won the battle for third against Andreas Prommegger (AUT).
In the ladies' event, reigning parallel slalom world champion Ledecka edged off Swiss talent Ladina Jenny, which marked the first podium finish for the 22-year-old regular rider.
“That has been one of the best starts I could have wished for. I hope all the races of the season will be like the one today. It was a great, perfectly organised race like always,” explained Ledecka while Jenny stated:
“I'm super happy about my career's best World Cup result. I brought down pretty good runs in all of my duels. Although I had a good training I wasn't expecting to end up that good today.”
In front of big crowd which barracked for the riders, Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) rounded out the podium as third after Julie Zogg (SUI) fell in a tight small final.
The alpine snowboard World Cup tour continues next weekend with a parallel slalom in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy which will take place on 19 December under the lights and as a replacement event for the cancelled Snowboard cross World Cup which was originally scheduled that date.