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Sweden's Kevin Backstrom claims title at the Absolut Park Spring Battle 2010
For the eighth time in a row the slightly odd slogan "Cowboys ride it hard ..." was carried through the Absolut Park in Flachauwinkl, Austria's longest terrain park. Being a 4 Star TTR contest, the Spring Battle 2010 once again lived up to its name and impressed the crowd as well as judges with an extremely high riding level on the Easter weekend. Many international pro snowboarders showed up for Absolut Park’s 10th anniversary and entered the battle of skills against the locals.
The qualifications were scheduled for Thursday, but postponed to Friday due to bad weather. Thursday evening saw spring-like conditions giving way to a moderate blizzard that brought 15 centimetres of freshies and covered the contest set up.
It was only thanks to the commitment of Absolut’s shape crew that the qualifications could be held on the second contest day, before the sun once again disappeared behind grey clouds. Thus, the super finals were postponed to Saturday.
While some party animals were still trying to find their beds, the qualified riders met up early at the summit of the shuttle mountain to do their first warm up runs. Blessed with blue bird sky, they went big to impress the judges.
The qualification already saw double corks as well as switch 12s, and the challenging trick level was to be carried to the finals.
There, Air&Style rider Werni Stock (AUT) put all his eggs in one basket, showing a switch backside 900 as well as a double backflip on the bottom roller. His excellent performance earned him a third place.
Chris 'CK' Kröll (AUT) impressively proved that he is back after suffering from a major knee injury three years ago – he became second with a strong final run consisting of a stylish frontside 1080 and a clean backside 900.
But the undisputable best rider of the day was Sweden's Kevin Backstrom. Only 17 years old, he became Absolut Park’s new sheriff with a frontside 1080 to backside 1080. Besides some coveted TTR points, the eight best riders also took home a total prize money of 20.000 US dollars.
Straight after the super finals, it was time for the traditional TAG-TEAM-AWARD. Individual teams were formed and a relaxed jam session held. From the table of the first kicker, the riders started into the wide end section which consisted of a big roller, the massive Absolut Park wall, a challenging cannon box and an oversized token (a.k.a. Bonk-Mandala / Bonk-Dude).
In the end, Team Zillertal was at the top of the game: with a perfect combination of varied tricks, ingenuity and the ability to take the most advantage of the obstacles in the end section. Chris Kröll, Werni Stock, Tom Klocker and Mario Wanger deservedly earned 2,500 Euros extra prize money.
Although the finals had to be moved to Saturday, Friday night's Spring Break Party in Ema’s Pub in Flachau didn’t suffer from any “party fatigue". MORTAL KOMBAT SOUND made riders and fans shake their hips to the finest reggae and dancehall beats until the early morning.
See you next year ... in the wild, wild west!
1. Kevin Backstrom / SWE
2. Chris Kröll / AUT
3. Werni Stock / AUT
4. Ville Uotila / FIN
5. Robert Wallner / AUT
6. Stefan Wimmer / AUT
7. Rudi Kröll / AUT
8. Flo Galler / AUT
9. Giorgio Cianceloni / ITA
10. Clemens Schattschneider / AUT
11. Mario Wanger / AUT
12. Patrik Cinka / GER
13. Jaakko Ruha / FIN
14. Zebastian Landmark / SWE
15. Thomas Minichberger / AUT
16. Tor Lundström / NOR
17. Phips Gruber / AUT
18. Felix Georgii / GER
19. Michi Stanschitz / AUT
20. Tom Klocker / AUT
20. Herbert Thaler / AUT
22. Kike Carcelen / ESP
23. Andreas Fitzenwanker / AUT
24. Adrian Krainer / AUT
25. Simon Pircher / AUT