Yes, I'm weighing up my words when I say that Mathieu Crepel's event was a page of snowboard History!
And for many reasons. To start with the obvious ones, this was the first time the TTR, Pro World Tour, came down to the Pyrenees. That was also the first time that a draw format was put together on the World Tour. Mathieu Crepel imagined this format so that the riders put down 2 tricks on a piece of paper and 5 are taken randomly from a hat for the riders to execute. And that's probably also why a winning Double Backflip stoked everyone out so much, riders, crowd and press!
But let's start before, or higher, rather. At 2877m to be precise, where riders and press could make a little tour inside the Skylab, where scientists studying the starts work all year long. That was a first for me, as well as many riders, and that was impressive, and instructive.
After a very short night at the top - between a professional snorer (thanks Rasmus) and deadly alarm bell, we rode our way down to the bottom were the jump was located. And after the first training session was time for another premiere for the riders: the 'Solitude' chalet. That building from last century - or maybe older - scared a few people out at the first glance, but was actually the best spot for all of us to chill and have a laugh. Especially with a warm welcome like Bernard Crepel did, with champagne and saber!
Later at the dinner in a restaurant close by (chez Louisette), it was hilarious to watch the Scandis - like Freddy Austbo or Thomas Harstad - party with all the locals in their typical hats, singing typical songs and eating the local delicacy: la Garbure. They even played table football!
Then Saturday was the D day, when the gnarly stuff went down. The judges were in place, the Quiksilver village was up, the HO5 booter ready, and Stephane Routin flying his little chopper around it.
I don't know if some riders had put trick names in the hat for a laugh - like one footers and shit, but one thing is for sure: some of them were not laughing when Frontflip, Backflip and Switch Method came out... And what to say about the final draw, with Switch BS Rodeo 5 and Double Backflip! In the end, Arthur pretty much killed it, with his first ever attempt on a Double Backflip. A well deserved TTR title from the 19 years old from Les Deux Alpes, and a very special big up to Mathieu Crepel, who didn't only organise - with his parents and friends - one of the coolest contest I've been to, but who also gave away his 1500 Euros prize money to Mountain Riders to finish off with a very eco-friendly event. He also spent some time with the 'Mongemalins kids', signing autographs and stuff, which was super cool of him...
Well, that was it, the party could go all night long at the Bareges Casino. Pyrenees Rock! The Crepel family Rocks for putting this together, and Arthur Logo Rocks because he's just nuts!
Read the full report of the event here.