Organizers of the O’Neill Pro Freestyle have announced that the 5-star Ticket To Ride (TTR) freestyle event is ON for the end of January despite challenging snow conditions currently affecting the Alps.
As planned, the French snowboarding Mecca of Avoriaz will host the 5th edition of this much-respected contest. Unfortunately, the poor start to the winter season has also forced organizers to announce the cancellation of the Slopestyle event at this year’s edition of the Pro Freestyle. Faced with the prospect of unfavourable weather forecasts, organizers decided to cancel this particular discipline rather than host a scaled-down version not worthy of the event’s top billing status.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, we’re very happy to confirm that the Pro Freestyle Quarterpipe contest will be held, with a few minor changes to the advertised program. Following the huge success of the Quarterpipe contest at the O’Neill Evolution, Claes Hagstrom and his team of shapers are already on site in Avoriaz overseeing the build of the 24m x 10m x 10m scaffolding structure used to support the mass of snow.
With no Slopestyle contest on this year’s schedule, organizers have increased the Quarterpipe prize purse by US$10,000 so that it now stands at an incredible US$35,000. With valuable TTR ratings points and all that cash up for grabs, you can bet that a selection of the globe’s finest battle chargers, including wild card riders JJ Roux, Caroline Beliard and 12-year-old superstar-in-the-making Dimi de Jong will turn it on during the Semi-Finals and Finals, broadcast live on internet and TV.
Going some way to filling the gap left by the cancellation of the Slopestyle contest, the City Sessions, featuring some of the most progressive contest rail riding, have been upgraded so that riders now have 2 sessions on the Thursday in which to showcase their metal riding skills – one at night and one during the day. Total prize money for both sessions will be US$5.000, and inscriptions for these sessions will be onsite.
So see you in Avoriaz from 30th January – 3rd February 2007 – we’re already getting ready for blast off. And if you can’t make it out to the Alps, make sure you catch all the action, live on internet and TV.
For more updated information about the O’Neill Pro Freestyle, including a soon-to-be-uploaded rider list, visit: www.oneilleurope.com/profreestyle