Patrik Huber wins Saas-Fee • Christoph Walchhofer triumphs at freeskiing • Lech team claims victory
Over the weekend of March 17 and 18, 2007, the best freeski and snowboard rookies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland met at the Finale Grande of the Snowpark Tour 007 at Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Patrik Huber from Warth (AUT) was crowned the “most impressive rider" in snowboarding while Christoph Walchhofer from Eben im Pongau (AUT) won the freeskiers’ contest. Anais Cettou from Motiers (SUI) took the snowboard girls’ victory. At the team battle, the crew from Lech won over the snowpark envoys from Flumserberg and Saas-Fee.
In its sixth year, the Snowpark Tour finals were held in Switzerland for the very first time. The snow park on 2,800 m sea level delivered perfect conditions. The shapers set up a kicker line with two kickers and a quarterpipe. At the in-run, riders could choose between two rails. The additional box line offered four different slide boxes. “The park was excellent and the kickers were super smooth. Saas-Fee has built a great snow park", said snowboard winner Patrik Huber.
The 70 riders were also delighted by the nice weather and the fact that the participation in the event and accommodation were free, thanks to the sponsors Quiksilver and Atomic. “All riders stayed at the same place and I got to know a lot of new people. The Snowpark Tour is big fun not only at the park!" said the winner of the snowboard girls’ contest, Anais Cettou.
In addition, the riders were happy about a lot of great prizes. The winners were invited to take part in prestigious events and will be interviewed by magazines – hopefully the beginning of a successful pro career. “It’s amazing! Now I’m qualified for the European Freeski Open in Laax where I’ll compete with the world’s best riders!" said freeski winner Christoph Walchhofer.
Saturday: freeskiers and snowboard girls
On Saturday, the freeskiers showed tricks like cork 900 and 720. Christoph Walchhofer (AUT) presented the highest and safest 900s and convinced the judges with under-flips at the quarterpipe. Raphael Schweiger from Neu-Rum (AUT) got second, 18-year-old Joel Bächtold from Hasliberg (SUI) was third.
The snowboard girls liked the kickers, too. Their contest saw four Swiss girls in front. With nice 360s and smooth box slides, Anais Cettou from Motiers took victory. Elena Könz (Vna) got second, Helen Wyss (Fribourg) third and Emilie Aubry (Ipsach) fourth. "It’s great, I didn’t expect this. I’m mega happy!", the 21-year-old Cettou said. At the next Roxy Chicken Jam, she will compete against the best female snowboarders.
Sunday: Snowboard team battle
On Sunday, the snowboarders showed their skills riding in four-man teams that represented their respective snow park. Though they would have liked to have bigger kickers, they were happy. “The kickers were not big but really safe", Bernd Gutwenger from organizer Mellow constructions explained. “I’m proud and happy that we had no serious injuries at the tour stops and at the finals. And despite the lack of snow, we managed to hold all ten tour stops. I think this speaks for the snow park locations."
The teams from Lech, Flachauwinkl, Flumserberg and Saas-Fee reached the super finals. With 900s and 1080s, they impressed the judges. “Judging was big fun and I’m sure we will see some of the riders again", head judge Christian Reinhard said. In the end, the Lech team was the one to cheer. Patrik Huber from Warth, Wolfgang Wanner from Seefeld, Tommi Gimpl from Leogang and Michael Macho from Pfunds showed faultless runs. The creative team from Flumserberg took second with a rapid fire show at the boxes while the Saas-Fee riders with the brothers Matthias and Sebastian Bumann from Visp got third. The three teams were invited to the TTR Bootcamp at Innsbruck.
Most Impressive Rider: Patrik Huber
At the single decision, also a rider from the Lech team was in front: Patrik Huber (AUT) took the title of the “most impressive rider". He got a wildcard for the Nanshan Open in China. “I’m looking forward to this trip. At the moment, everything’s perfect for me as last week I won the Austrian Masters and now here. Just perfect!", the 23- year-old said.
Swiss Kobi Würsch who was second in front of Lukas Perteneder from Saalfelden (AUT) was happy, too: “I’m so glad I’m able to snowboard again! Last winter, I was injured and couldn’t ride."
Thus, everybody was pleased and tired on Sunday: the participants because of their riding and the spectators and helpers because of the quick sessions party at the Popcorn bar where The Flying He-She’s and DJ Rocksy delivered the action.