More than 200 riders to compete in Copper Mountain
The Snowboard Freestyle World Cup tour will continue this weekend with the 2017-18 season's second halfpipe competition as well as fourth big air event slated to take place in Copper Mountain, USA from December 7 till 10, 2017, featuring one of the strongest and deepest fields ever witnessed at a World Cup stop.
With the international qualifier process for PyeongChang finally picking up pace in halfpipe and the sole on-mountain big air of this winter being the final one prior to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the who is who of snowboarding has registered to go all in in Colorado with only a few riders missing out the big show including Anna Gasser (AUT) who still suffers from her ankle injury.
However, a total of 49 women and 71 men will compete in the big air event as well as 44 women and 55 men are ready to drop in the superpipe.
The halfpipe field will feature all six riders who jumped on last year's podium such as Chloe Kim (USA), Jiayu Liu and Xuetong Cai from China, Swiss athletes Patrick Burgener and Iouri Podladtchikov as well as Chase Josey.
In addition, former Olympic champions Kelly Clark (USA) and Shaun White (USA) are also returning to the action as the FIS World Cup sanctioned Copper Mountain Toyota Grand Prix serves as first national qualifier for the big US team.
And reigning World Champion Scotty James (AUS) is also on the watch-out-for list which includes the likes of Yiwei Zhang (CHN), Ayumu Hirano (JPN) and Torah Bright (AUS), too.
In the big air event which is stacked with some of the world's biggest talents, only Seb Toutant (CAN) is missing from last year's top-3 women and men with Jamie Anderson (USA) and Max Parrot (CAN) going for back-to-back wins again.
But riders like Marcus Kleveland (NOR), current World Cup leader Yuri Okubo (JPN), Carla Somaini (SUI) and Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) have descended on North America with a huge confidence boost of their top results earned at last weekends ARAG Big Air Freestyle Festival in Germany.
Above that, Mark McMorris (CAN), Silje Norendal (NOR), Laurie Blouin (CAN), Seppe Smits (BEL), Roope Tonteri (FIN) or Stale Sandbech (NOR) have also a big bag of tricks to mix it at the top.
Last year's podium
1. Chloe Kim (USA) and Patrick Burgener (SUI)
2. Jiayu Liu (CHN) and Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)
3. Xuetong Cai (CHN)) and Chase Josey (USA)
1. Jamie Anderson (USA) and Max Parrot (CAN)
2. Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) and Sebastien Toutant (CAN)
3. Klaudia Medlova (SVK) and Ryan Stassel (USA)
Thursday, DEC 7, 9:30 AM LOC (5:30 PM CET), halfpipe qualifiers
Friday, DEC 8, 9:25 AM LOC (5:25 PM CET), big air qualifiers
Saturday, DEC 9, 11 AM LOC (7 PM CET), halfpipe finals
Sunday, DEC 10, 11 AM LOC (7 PM CET), big air finals
Live scoring will be available here.
Results will be available here.