[Anna Gasser starting the season in Stubai as we're betting she'll continue it: by going bonkers. Photo: Sani Alibabic.]
Finally for this week, we come to the winner of 2017's Female European Rider of the Year Awards title. And this Austrian park slayer won it by a veritable landslide...
"For sending it hard, winning contests, doing doubles and destroying rails"
- Enni Rukajarvi
For sheer contest dominance, no snowboarder - male or female - has come close to matching Anna Gasser in 2017. In previous years she’s always been a threat at any slopestyle or Big Air contest she entered, but this year saw her kick it up a gear and bag more medals than an African dictator.
Anna first made waves in the snowboarding world when she became the first female rider to stick the cab double underflip back in 2013. This made her one of only a few females to do any kind of double-dipping, and all those not already familiar with her sat up and took notice.
"Amongst an ever-increasing field of rivals, she always does what it takes to stay one step ahead"
It’s a trick she still puts down regularly as he blows past the opposition on her way to the podium. At X Games Oslo she scooped silver in Big Air and gold in slopestyle, adding to her Big Air bronze from the Aspen event earlier in the year. Then there’s the slopestyle gold from the US Open, and a silver from Laax.
It doesn’t end there; after cleaning up on the FIS World Cup Big Air circuit, she then snaffled the World Championships crown with her first backside double cork 1080 in competition. This winter she got off to a flier with wins in Milan and at the Beijing Air + Style. Only an ankle injury has given anyone else a chance to get to the top step.
"The queen of snowboarding. She wins contests with tricks that no other girls can do, and she has good style doing it"
- Kevin Backstrom
Not insignificantly, her dominance has been recognised by more mainstream sporting circles. In July she was awarded the Best Female Action Sports Star award at the ESPYs, followed by Austria’s Female Athlete of the Year in November.
For all that bling alone, Anna’s a worthy winner, but she’s never rested on her laurels. Amongst an ever-increasing field of rivals, she always does what it takes to stay one step ahead. It’s little wonder that her peers have now bestowed yet another gong on her - congratulations Anna Gasser, 2017's European Rider Of The Year.