SNOWBOARD: Ledecka second and first in PGS openers

Czech star Ester Ledecka (Photo: Stefan Brending via Wikimedia)

The “alpine” events in Snowboard opened in Carezza and Cortina d’Ampezzi (ITA) and Czech sensation Ester Ledecka was in the thick of the fight for in both places.

The Olympic gold medalist in 2018 – who also won a shock victory in the Alpine Super-G – lost in the opener in Carezza to unheralded Nadya Ochner of Italy, who claimed her first-ever World Cup win and her fourth career medal. The 25-year-old won her first medal on tour in two years.

For Ledecka – who has been busy on the Alpine circuit up until now – it was her 23rd career World Cup medal.

Tim Mastnak (SLO) earned his second career win on the men’s side over Austria’s Benjamin Karl.

Two days later in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Ledecka was in great form and won easily as Swiss Julie Zogg crashed in the final. “It was great racing out there today,” said Ledecka. “The course was well-prepared and I think [it was] the same for everyone all night. But it’s a much different course than Carezza, with the flat part here, and much icier. I like both courses, but tonight I had good runs all the way through competition and was able to take the win.” It was her 24th career World Cup medal.

Italy’s Ronald Fischnaller, 38, always seems to be on the podium in Cortina and he won again, beating top qualifier – and last season’s World Cup champion – Nevin Galmarini (SUI) in the final. “I don’t know why, but I always have a really good feeling here,” Fischnaller said. “It was a lot of fun today, even though it was difficult snow conditions. And I couldn’t train properly because of some issues with my back, so this is a big surprise. But I guess when it’s time for pushing I can still do it!”

FIS Snowboard World Cup
Carezza (ITA) ~ 13 December 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom/Big Final: 1. Tim Mastnak (SLO); 2. Benjamin Karl (AUT); Small Final: 3. Sebastian Kislinger (AUT); 4. Andreas Prommegger (AUT).

Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom/Big Final: 1. Nadya Ochner (ITA); 2. Ester Ledecka (CZE); Small Final: 3. Ramona Hofmeister (GER); 4. Cheyenne Loch (GER).

FIS Snowboard World Cup
Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) ~ 15 December 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom/Big Final: 1. Roland Fischnaller (ITA); 2. Nevin Galmarini (SUI); Small Final: 3. Benjamin Karl (AUT); 4. Andrea Prommegger (AUT).

Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom/Big Final: 1. Ester Ledecka (CZE); 2. Julie Zogg (SUI); Small Final: 3. Sabine Schoeffmann (GER); 4. Gloria Kotnik (SLO).