23/04/2010 | by Tom Copsey
Finnish rider Ville Uotila is once again the deserving winner of the sixth edition of the Grandvalira Total Fight Masters of Freestyle 2010 that was marked by the highest level of riding the competition has ever seen.
Once again the heat was on in the El Tarter snowpark for the 6th edition of the now legendary Grandvalira Total Fight Masters of Freestyle. Under bright blue skies, Finnish rider Ville Uotila pulled off his fantastic victory with a Switch backside double Cork 12 in his last round in the big air line, making him this year’s master of the fight. As overall winner of the competition, Uotila goes home with 4 SWATCH TTR stars putting him into 17th position on the world tour circuit. Over the course of two days, some of the most important international riders, including a bevy of Scandinavians, dominated the slopestyle with an astounding display of their skills on a snowboard.
Locals and snowboard fanatics gathered together to cheer on the athletes coming from near and far, including countries such as Finland, Spain, Andorra, France, Sweden and Austria. Enric Bonvehi, head of the Coliflor team of shapers and organiser of the event, said he was stoked with the level of riding, the enthusiasm of the crowds who came to support the athletes and the good atmosphere that reigned during the event. Uotila was accompanied on the podium by Ulrik Badertscher in second place, Victor De Le Rue in third place and Kim Rune Hansen in fourth place.
Being an end of season competition, the Grandvalira Total Fight Masters of freestyle generally enjoys wonderful weather, and this year was no exception, spring was clearly in the air today as the sun shone down on the El Tarter snowpark bringing with it the occasional sunburn. The good mood that reigned during the event was heightened by the awesome level of riding throughout the day; the crowd couldn’t help but feel utterly engrossed by each rider’s line, and the shouts, whistles and cheers were testimony to the good atmosphere that prevailed all day.
In the last few weeks, the Coliflor team of shapers have been working day and night to create the most spectacular lines the El Tarter park has ever seen. For this year’s competition, Riders had a choice of three varied lines; the first line consisted of two jumps followed by a roller and finished by a step up step down kicker which included a box rail. For those true lovers of rails, the second line started with a 20 step rail, followed by two 15 metre jumps and finished off with the step up step down. The third and by far most popular line, started with a 20 metre big air, which gave riders plenty of time and pop to pull off their most impressive tricks. This line was finished by a gap to transfer and the step up step down. Most of the public and riders agreed that the level of riding this year was by far the most impressive, frontside double cork 900’s, backside 900’s, halfcab 540’s, all in a day’s work for the participating athletes.
Ville Uotila described his third victory as amazing but his biggest achievement was pulling off the Switch backside double Cork 12, a trick he’d never tried before and which he landed to perfection, “landing that trick made this Total Fight for me” he said. In fact, Uotila was heading for second place behind fellow Scandinavian Ulrik Badertscher before he decided to try the trick that won the competition. Uotila once again won the hearts of both the judges and the public with his fine riding and big tricks. His first round shone thanks to an ollie to front 360 on the butter box followed by a backside 900 on his second run, accompanied of course by whistles of encouragement from the public.
At this point, however, the competition was still very tight between Badertscher, Delerue and Uotila, with all three riders really going for it and pushing their riding to the highest level. As the competition was nearing it’s conclusion, Uotila confidently approached the Big Air and glided through his Switch backside double Cork 12, landing perfectly and sealing his victory for the third consecutive year. The Atomic rider is ranked 17th on the SWATCH TTR world ranking, and came to Grandvalira after a tenth position in the TTR 6 star Artic Challenge which takes place in Norway. This year, the winners of the Total Fight Masters of Freestyle share a massive total of 25,000 euros between them.
The action didn’t slow down in the afternoon with a flatland demonstration put on by Redbull in which riders showed off their skills on a bike cheered on by the crowd, who enjoyed the afternoon sun to the last. After a little break, the action started up again at 7pm with a night time jib session, a first in the history of the Total Fight. Spectators gathered round in the El Tarter carpark, to watch the snowboarders grind the famous local staircase. Snowboarders were represented by the Argentinean Facu Vial who won the competition with a switch backside lipslide, followed by the Swede Noa Gadelius and the Argentinean Santi Gamen. The evening ended with a dj session by Barcelona’s Nasty Monday’s duo and Crappy Tuesdays, in the tent put up in the El Tarter car park for the occasion. Nasty Monday’s and crappy Tuesday’s have become a firm fixture of the Barcelona night time scene, so it was nice to share the good music altogether for this celebration of the freestyle spirit.
For the first time in the history of the Grandvalira Total Fight Masters of Freestyle, this is an eco friendly event. The message rubbed off on the public who made an effort to throw their rubbish away in the many bins provided and who, moreover, seemed to greatly appreciate the effort made to look after the environment and celebrate the mountains which are so often taken for granted.
Final ranking Total Fight 2010 Snowboard
1. Ville UOTILA, FIN – ATOMIC
2. Ulrik BADERTSCHER-QUIKSILVER
3. Victor DELERUE-RIP CURL
4. Kim RUNE HANSEN-BURTON
6. Mati KINUNNEN-AMPLID
7. Blayze BRAMWELL-FORUM
8. Miguel MORENO-SALOMON