Freestyle snowboarders return to Copper Mountain

13 December 2016 09:59
It's style time at Copper Mountain again
It's style time at Copper Mountain again -
Sarah Brunson

Following the first stop of the U.S. Revolution Tour, a FIS level tour serving to bridge the gap between grassroots and elite-level competition whilst offering future Olympic hopefuls the chance to match against the elite, the world's best snowboarders have descended on Colorado for their fourth stop of the snowboard freestyle World Cup tour.

From December 14 – 17, 2016, athletes will not only celebrate the return of Copper Mountain to the World Cup tour after being absent for one season, but also battle for precious World Cup points in both, a halfpipe and a big air competition.

Riders will kick off things in the 22-foot Main Vein superpipe competing in this winter's first halfpipe World Cup event before the big air specialists get ready for the first on-slope big air World Cup contest since Valmalenco (ITA) back in 2008.

With three consecutive World Cup wins under her belt, Anna Gasser is for sure the one to watch out for in the big air contest. However, the start of the 25-year-old Austrian big air specialist is currently in doubt as she injured her knee during a training run a few days ago.

If the currently most dominating rider of the tour has to sit out the event, it will leave the door wide open for Olympic slopestyle champ Jamie Anderson (USA), Katie Ormerod (GBR) who has already earned two big air World Cup podium finishes this season as well as US riders Hailey Langland and Julia Marino as well as Canadian Spencer O'Brien.

In the men's event, a Canadian armada led by World Cup leader Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant and Max Parrot will lock horns with spinning wonder Marcus Kleveland (NOR) and top riders like Billy Morgan (GBR) as well as two-time world champion and Moenchengladbach winner Roope Tonteri (FIN).

In the superpipe, everything is set for another thrilling duel between US girls Chloe Kim and Kelly Clark who will face strong Chinese competition with Xuetong Cai and Jiayu Liu.

In the men's competition, Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) will meet with his 2014 Sochi rivals from Japan Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka again as well as super star Shaun White (USA).

In addition, the field – which is one of the strongest and deepest ever in World Cup history – will also feature the likes of world champion Scotty James (AUS), Christian Haller (SUI), Greg Bretz (USA), Markus Malin (FIN) and Yiwei Zhang from China.

Time Schedule

The qualifiers for the halfpipe and big air competitions are scheduled for December 14 and 15 while the finals are slated to take place on Dec 16 (halfpipe) and Dec 17 (big air).

The full programme can be reviewed here: