Kwiatkowski meanwhile, had no doubt about the fierce competitor he was up against in the big final. Mirko Felicetti (ITA) had already dispatched Austrians Arvid Auner and Benjamin Karl in the early rounds before beating Tim Mastnak (SLO) – the second-placed rider in the opening PSL of the season in Winterberg – on his way to the big final.
Another pair of experienced Austrians were also taken out by Kwiatkowski – Alexander Payer (AUT), the leader of the PSL tour, and current overall tour and PGS leader, Andreas Prommegger (AUT), a 22-time World Cup winner from 280 starts.
But the Pole held his nerve in a tight contest that ultimately saw Felicetti, who was aiming for only a second-ever World Cup win himself, come unstuck late on. Kwiatkowski was able to glide through for the win, claiming a first World Cup victory after 57 starts.
“This is my favourite hill,” said a beaming Kwiatkowski post-race, citing “grippy” snow that’s “nice for carving” as reasons for loving Scuol. “I’m very happy and very tired.”
Describing his thoughts ahead of facing Felicetti he said: “I thought, it’s not easy, I need to push 100% so that’s how I did it.”
In the small final, Prommegger bagged a 51st World Cup podium beating Mastnak to third place after the Slovenian made a small error.
Disappointing days were had by the women’s tour leader, Daniela Ulbing (AUT) who remains top of the pile despite crashing out in the quarter-finals today against Zogg. In the men’s edition, Roland Fischnaller (ITA) dropped even further behind fellow icon Prommegger in the overall and PGS rankings, after not making it through to the knockout rounds in Scuol.
The next races take place in Bansko (BUL) with back-to-back PSL events on 21-22 January.