LAAX/SUI (18.01.2019) – Silje Norendal/NOR and Chris Corning/USA took home the LAAX OPEN Slopestyle titles today here at the LAAX OPEN 2019 Snowboard World Cup. A day to remember also for the Swiss riders at their home event with three podium spots in total!
After lots of fresh snow earlier this week the weather was in favor of snowboarding today with the sun out and the wind not being an issue as in the past two days. The LAAX Snowpark crew did an outstanding job preparing a creative and fun 550 m long course up on Crap Sogn Gion. The challenging course was demanding with many of the favorites not making it into today’s finals. Today riders had two runs, with the best one counting.
In the women’s field Silje Norendal from Norway, multiple X-Games medalist, took home the prestigious LAAX OPEN title, which is actually her first ever World Cup win. She is sharing the podium with Swiss riders Celia Petrig on 2nd and LAAX local Sina Candrian on 3rd place. Silje clearly was the best rider today taking over the lead after the first run, and therefore had a lot of pressure taken off her shoulders for her second run, where she was able to improve her score. Silje started her winning run with a Switch Nosepress at the first rail section, followed by a Switch Backside 540 Mute over the so-called Jumpbox feature, impressed on the kicker-line with a Frontside 540 Indy, a Cab 900 Mute and a Backside 720 Mute and finished with a Bluntslide to Fakie on the rail feature at the end. Silje said:„ The LAAX OPEN is one of my favorite events and I love to come here. This is a big event and this is a big win for me, I am so excited.“ Also for Celia Petrig her 2nd place today is a huge accomplishment and her best contest result so far. Celia said afterwards: “I am speechless and very happy. I never expected to be on the podium and I am so stoked I landed my Frontflip.”
In the men’s decision it was Chris Corning (USA) who impressed most with a really strong 2nd run earning him 89,10 points. Chris’ winning run consisted of a Frontside 180 to Cab 180 to 50-50-Frontside 360 Out on the first rail section, a Backside Rodeo 540 Melon on the Jumpbox, Cab 12 Nose, Frontside 1440 Melon and a massive Backside Triple Melon over the kickers, finishing off with a Backside 270 to 270 out. Chris: „I am so proud for bringing it home to the US!” Norwegian Stale Sandbech, a regular here in LAAX, was unlucky in his first run but managed to throw down a great 2nd run with a Cab 1440 which earned him the 2nd place. “I am super happy with my 2nd place, I did my best, but Chris was better today.” The sensation of today was Swiss rider Moritz Thoenen (22 years). “It couldn’t be better. I had troubles in the qualification but today everything just worked out well for me. I never expected to end up on the podium.”
An exciting Slopestyle day at Crap Sogn Gion comes to an end, this evening rocksresort and Riders club are the meeting point to celebrate snowboarding culture. The LAAX OPEN 2019 highlight is coming up tomorrow with the Halfpipe night finals!
All photos by Marcel Laemmerhirt