Ballet-Baz and Ambuehl on top under the Tree of Life
Milan (ITA) - The 2017/2018 FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup season kicked off on Saturday night in Milan with Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA) and Elias Ambuehl (SUI) taking top spots at highly-anticipated ‘Big Air and the City' competition held at the EXPerience park, right next to the iconic Tree of Life.
Following last weekend’s exciting snowboard event, this weekend’s show belonged to freeskiers who took the chance to start the season on a high note, battling for the first big air World Cup points.
After the qualification round held earlier during the day, the stacked field of more than 50 riders was narrowed down to top 6 ladies and top 10 men, all of them ready to step it up in the finals held under the Milan’s lights.
With some of the last year’s biggest players missing out at this year edition of ‘Big Air and the City’, a bunch of super talented up-and-comers were given an opportunity to rise and shine on the international stage. And they didn’t disappoint, showing that this season’s big air World Cup tour will be without a doubt the one to bring some fresh talents into the scene.
In the ladies’ competition it was Coline Ballet-Baz (FRA) who impressed the judges with her stylish and well-executed switch bio 900 safety and a 900 tail to take her very first World Cup victory as well as an early hold on the yellow World Cup leader bib.
“The level of the competition here was very high and I really was not expecting to go back home with the win”, said the French rider following the award ceremony. “I couldn’t have started the season in a better way and I’m just super happy with my performance tonight”.
Second place on the day went to last year’s slopestyle World Cup runner-up Johanne Killi (NOR) with Giulia Tanno (SUI) rounding out the podium on third.
And while Tanno started the competition by stomping the first ever forward double cork 1080 put down in a competition by a women, she couldn’t quite land her second trick clean and at the end she had to settle for a third place.
On the men’s side, it was Elias Ambuehl (SUI) returning to the World Cup tour after dealing with injuries last season, and the Swiss ace looked no worse for the wear, going technical and big (switch double cork 1440 tail, double cork 1260 tail to lead tail) on his way to earning his first ever World Cup victory.
“It’s just incredible. I honestly have no idea what to say”, smiled Ambuehl after the competition. “I thought it’s game over after I messed up my first trick, but then I saw guys having problem in the second run so I decided to give it a try. At the end everything worked out I’m really stoked about finishing on top of the podium today”.
The Swedish young gun Hugo Burvall finished the competition in the second spot, scoring his career’s first podium, while another Swiss rider, Andri Ragettli, ended up taking third place for his second podium of the season following his second place showing in New Zealand in August.
The FIS Freeski World Cup action continues next week, with the second slopestyle contest of the season set to take place on Novemeber 24-26 at the infamous Stubai Zoo snowpark in Austria.
1. Coline Ballet Baz - Switch Bio 900 Safety & 900 Tail
2. Johanne Killi - 900 Tail & Switch 720 Double Japan
3. Giulia Tanno - Double Cork 1080 Safety & Switch 900 Safety
1. Elias Ambuehl - Switch Double 1440 Tail & Double Cork 1260 Tail to Lead Tail
2. Hugo Burvall - Nose Butter Double Cork 1260 Safety & Switch Double 1440 Double Japan
3. Andri Ragettli - Triple Cork 1440 Bow and Arrow & Switch Double Misty 1260 Tail
- Ladies' results
- Ladies' big air World Cup standing
- Men's results
- Men's big air World Cup standing
- FIS Freeski 2017/2018 World Cup calendar