Clemens Millauer doubles down for the win. Photo: Audi Nines/Distillery by Klaus Polzer
The Audi Nines 2018 created one hell of a freestyle setup on the Sölden glacier, drawing a host of riders from Slopestyle and Snow Cross to create a revolutionary event!
Last Saturday the winners were crowned at the Audi Nines in Sölden, Austria. At the Public Contest Day, the male and female riders threw down the hammers on the new SlopeX course as well as Big Air and Quarterpipe. With the eye-watering set-up and perfect weather conditions drawing more than 3,000 spectators to Tiefenbach Glacier, the riders gave it their all and showed everyone they were eager to progress their sports.
The athletes were hyped on the unique combination of speed and creative obstacles the shapers had crafted for them to get sendy on. But also on a social level, it was a chance for Snow Cross and Slopestyle riders to be brought closer together - these worlds rarely mix, so throwing competitors from both disciplines together created a whole new dynamic: each brought their own interpretations of the SlopeX features and how to ride them.
Closing a week full of heavy photo and film sessions, the Public Contest Day on the 14th of April 2018 went off and the riders blew the minds of the crowd with an epic display of tearing the setup to pieces.
The unique loop obstacle proved to be a highlight among the numerous innovative elements of the SlopeX course. Gigi Rüf, Zak Hale and Carlos Garcia Knight were just some of the riders drawn to the feature like moths to a flame and put down a variety of creatives lines on, through and around it. Gigi even stepped up to carve his way round the whole damned thing!
The SlopeX finals
The Public Contest Day began with the SlopeX qualification in the morning, then the fastest riders competed in eagerly awaited finals in the afternoon. For the snowboarders’, two-time World Snowboard Cross Champion Alex Pullin (AUS) prevailed over 2-time Olympic Champion Pierre Vaultier (FRA) and snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen (NOR). Additionally, Pierre Vaultier, Brady Leman, Christian Haller (SUI) and Jesper Tjäder (SWE) took the win in the new SlopeX team competition.
The Freestyle finals
The freestyle contest took place on the Main Big Air feature, which offered three different take-offs. The finals were held as a 70-minute jam session with the two best tricks counting.
For the snowboarders’, local hero Clemens Millauer took victory landing a Frontside Double Cork 1440 Tailgrab and a Switch Backside 1260 Melon. Second place went to Kiwi Carlos Garcia Knight (Front Double 1080 Nose & Switch Double 900 Tail). Simon Gruber from Italy took third thanks to a Frontside 1080 Indy and Backside 1080 Mute, while Terje Haakonsen also took the quarter-pipe Best Trick Award with a massive, textbook Backside Air.
For the women, 2017 Aspen X Games winner Hailey Langland earned the win with a Cab 720 Nosegrab and one of the biggest Cab 1080s ever seen. Slovakia's Klaudia Medlova took second while Silje Norendal and Sina Candrian tied for third as the women continued to show that their level of freestyle riding is insane right now.
The Public Contest Day was the perfect way to wrap up an exciting week at the Audi Nines. Find out more on www.audinines.com!
Snowboard Men (Big Air)
1. Clemens Millauer (AUT)
2. Carlos Garcia Knight (NZL)
3. Simon Gruber (ITA)
Snowboard Women (Big Air)
1. Hailey Langland (USA)
2. Klaudia Medlova (SVK)
3. Silje Norendal (NOR) & Sina Candrian (SUI)
1. Alex Pullin (AUS)
2. Pierre Vaultier (FRA)
3. Terje Haakonsen (NOR)