Ochner claims fairy-tale maiden World Cup triumph
Nadya Ochner completed a fairy-tale victory as she claimed her first individual Snowboard World Cup win on home snow in Carezza.
In the season-opening women's parallel giant slalom, the Italian qualified for the knockouts with the sixth-fastest time and then worked her way through the rounds to set up a showdown with all-conquering Winter Olympic gold medallist Ester Ledecka.
Ochner overcame Ladina Jenny in the round of 16, saw off Natalia Soboleva by 0.73 seconds in the quarter-finals, beat Ramona Hofmeister in the semi-finals and then out-boarded Ledecka in the final to triumph by 0.22 seconds.
The 25-year-old Merano native had secured three previous individual World Cup podium finishes – including her maiden third-place finish coming in this exact race back in December 2014 – but admitted that leaving victorious was a dream come true.
"A first victory on home soil is incredible and having all my friends, family and fans here is brilliant," said Ochner. "It hasn't sunk in yet that I've actually won!"
Hofmeister overcame fellow German Cheyenne Loch in the small final to claim third, while the next event in the World Cup calendar is only 48 hours away – with another parallel giant slalom scheduled for Cortina d'Ampezzo on Saturday evening.