The biggest surprise in the men’s races were the struggles in qualifying by some of the season’s top-ranked riders going in to Bansko. Payer qualified one spot ahead of Stefan Baumeister (GER) – third in PSL pre-Bansko – who bagged the final knockout place in 16th. Overall tour leader Andreas Prommegger (AUT) was 12th while Maurizio Bormolini, second in PSL and third overall before Bansko, was ninth.
Only Prommegger was able to eke out important points in Bansko, claiming 32 points for eighth place having been knocked out in the quarter finals by fourth quickest qualifier Edwin Coratti (ITA).
Payer’s 16 points were enough to keep him ahead of his two main rivals in the PSL title race after neither he nor Bormolini or Baumeister made it past the quarter-finals going out to Caviezel, Obmann and Arvid Auner (AUT), respectively.
Payer now sits on 196 points in the PSL with Bormolini on 166. Today’s big final competitors, which saw Caviezel beat Obmann after the Austrian stumbled early in the race to leave the Swiss a clear run to the finish, sit on 156 and 152, respectively, taking them ahead of Baumeister on 135.
Prommegger stays top of the combined standings on 326 after six of 13 races, while Payer is second (288). Caviezel overtakes Bormolini with 280, with the Italian on 272.
“It was just incredible today for me,” said Caviezel. “It was my first victory of slalom, and it feels just amazing. Today was a tough day but honestly the organisation here did a really good job, and the slope was good. It was important to be in the top four in qualification. I did, I was second, so I could choose every run and it was just a great day for me.”
“I see the possibility and the chance to do a good result tomorrow as well, so I’m pretty excited.”
Sunday’s race starts at 12pm CET.
Standings after 3 of 6 races on the men’s PSL tour
1 Alexander Payer (AUT) 196 points
2 Maurizio Bormolini (ITA) 166 points
3 Dario Caviezel (SUI) 156 points
4 Fabian Obmann (AUT) 152 points
5 Stefan Baumeister (GER) 135 points
Standings after 6 of 13 races on the men’s overall tour
1 Andreas Prommegger (AUT) 326 points
2 Alexander Payer (AUT) 288 points
3 Dario Caviezel (SUI) 280 points
4 Maurizio Bormolini (ITA) 272 points