In his inimitable smooth style, under glorious spring weather, Nicolas Mueller (SUI) claimed the first-ever Slopestyle title of TTR 3 Star Snickers Classic & Popcorn Wallride, held at Saas-Fee, Switzerland, 19th-22nd April, 2007.
The last major professional event on the Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour 06/07, the Snickers Classic & Popcorn Wallride delivered a perfect and worthy ending to the snowboard season. As bikini-clad bodies bronzed in hot sun on the beach-styled Popcorn Plaza at the Saas-Fee Spielboden glacier run, riders went all-out to enjoy the super-fun Slopestyle park designed by local Swiss stars, Frederik Kalbermatten (SUI) & Marco Schwab (SUI). Starting with a cliff-drop, the course included a huge table-jump, a roller-jump, a step-up manual box and snow-box. Two qualification heats of 15 cut into a 12-man Super Final where each finalist received a share of the 10,000USD prize purse. Judges marked riders during the Slopestyle jam sessions based on overall impression through the course.
Hard-pushed to judge the striking line-up of European snowboard talent, it was Nicolas Mueller’s (SUI) creativity, fluidity and variety of tricks that set him apart from his peers. Mueller’s (SUI) stylish runs included a neat 540 off the cliff-drop, a Cab 900 Japan and snow-box jibbing – the only rider to do so.
‘I tend to begin my season riding contests then continue with filming from January onwards. I just came from Alaska last night to come to Freddie’s event. I didn’t come to win – just wanted to ride this really fun park. It’s the perfect end to ride these conditions where I’ve both started and finished my season’s riding in Saas-Fee,’ explained a buoyant Mueller (SUI).
Young Finnish up-comer, Juuso Laivisto (FIN), deservedly claimed 2nd place. Only his second TTR result of the season, the 18-year-old showed off his risk-taking style impressing judges with a Cab 540 off the cliff-drop, and a double backflip followed by frontside 900. Proudly representing the Aesthetiker crew, 3rd place podium spot went to Rudi Kroell (AUT) who showed a lot of variety with Cab 900s, switch backside 720s and a backside rodeo 720 amongst his pool of tricks. The main word of the day was ‘fun’ and notably Andreas ‘Mone’ Monsberger (AUT) who rode the course one-footed and Jonas Emery (SUI) who also pushed the park’s limits with a spectator-friendly show. Each rider earned their last round of TTR Ranking Points in the final chance to increase their status on the TTR Ranking List presented by Swatch.
Snickers Classic & Popcorn Wallride Top 5
- 1/ Nicolas MUELLER (SUI)
- 2/ Juuso LAIVISTO (FIN)
- 3/ Rudi KROELL (AUT)
- 4/ Frederik KALBERMATTEN (SUI)
- 5/ Anthony ‘Ton-Ton’ HOLLAND (SUI)
Pics courtesy of: www.ttrworldtour.com