SNOWBOARD: Sensational win for 45-year-old Claudia Riegler in Bad Gastein!

Ageless: 2013 World Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom Champion Claudia Riegler (AUT)

Everyone knows that you have to be a teenager or 20-something to ride at the top of the World Cup Snowboard circuit, right?

Someone forgot to tell Austria’s Claudia Riegler.

The 2015 World Champion in the Parallel Giant Slalom, she’s now 45 and has been on the World Cup circuit since 1997 (!). But she hardly retired, and came out on top in the first Parallel Slalom event of the 2018-19 season, in front of home fans in Bad Gastein (AUT).

It was Riegler’s sixth career win in a World Cup race and her first since July of 2015. But she got the best of another veteran, Poland’s 28-year-old Aleksandra Krol, in the final.

For Krol, it was only her second World Cup medal ever; she won a silver back in February of 2013 in Moscow. And for Riegler, it was another happy race in Bad Gastein, where she had won World Cup bronzes in 2011 and 2013.

In the men’s Parallel Slalom, German Stefan Baumeister, 25, claimed his fourth career World Cup gold and second in a Parallel Slalom. He beat 23-year-old Swiss Dario Caviezel in the final, who claimed his best finisher ever in a World Cup race; he had won only one previous World Cup medal, a bronze, in December 2017.

It’s true that the Parallel Slalom is a definite little sister to the Parallel Giant Slalom, with only three events held last year and four scheduled for this year. But for a 45-year-old to win? Isn’t sport great!

A mixed-gender team event is scheduled for Wednesday. Summaries:

FIS Snowboard World Cup
Bad Gastein (AUT) ~ 8-9 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Parallel Slalom/Final: 1. Stefan Baumeister (GER); 2. Dario Caviezel (SUI). Small Final: 3. Benjamin Karl (AUT); 4. Lukas Mathies (AUT).

Women’s Parallel Slalom/Final: 1. Claudia Riegler (AUT); 2. Aleksandra Krol (POL); Small Final: 3. Sabine Schoeffmann (AUT); 4. Patrizia Kummer (SUI).