50,000 spectators expected for Stoneham World Cup
The FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour returns to Stoneham, Quebec this week with this season's first slopestyle and second big air event. It's the 16th time the worldwide contest serious guests in Quebec and the ninth time the competitions will be staged as part of the famous Snowboard Jamboree, a festival full of sports, music and fashion. 50,000 spectators are expected to attend the contests, side events and parties.
Things will kick off with the big air show under the lights open for both, women and men. Over the past eight weeks, 100 workers have built a massive 91 metres long and 35 metres high ramp which weights a total of 180,000 pounds without snow.
Qualifiers are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 18th with the finals taking place Friday night.
The first slopestyle of the season will take place on a course shaped by Steve Petrie and Charles Turcotte on Saturday (qualifiers on Thursday) and will feature a three-kicker jump line and two rails sections to finish things off.
Enough freedom for some of the world's finest to showcase their tricks and style. The international field which will mainly compete in both events is led by reigning big air and slopestyle world champions Roope Tonteri (FIN) and Ryan Stassel (USA).
Their main rivals in both events features the likes of Canada's very own Darcy Sharpe, big air silver medallist at the last worlds and Michael Ciccarelli, Finland's rippers Ville Paumola, 2011 big air world champion Petja Piiroinen and Janne Korpi who won both events in Quebec back in 2010.
In addition, US top gun Eric Beauchemin, young Swiss Lucien Koch and 2015 Winter Universiade champion Petr Horak (CZE) are also riders to watch out for.
In the women's contest, world championships slopestyle bronze medallist Klaudia Medlova (SVK), Urska Pribosic (SLO) and Lia-Mara Boesch are top contenders for a podium finish.
Ty Walker (USA), the first ever female to win a big air World Cup contest, wants to add another one to her belt while the hosting country pins its hopes on Jenna Blasman who finished fifth in the slopestyle event of the last worlds.
Preliminary time schedule World Cup Stoneham
- February, 18th: Qualification big air Women 5:40 PM EST, Men 7:20 PM EST
- February, 19th: Qualification slopestyle Women 10:10 AM EST, Men 12:50 PM EST
- February, 20th: Finals big air Women & Men 7 PM EST
- February, 21th: Finals slopestye Women & Men 1 PM EST
Eurosport will broadcast the finals of the slopestyle event live on their Eurosport Player at 7 PM CET with a recap of the big air finals shown subsequently.