Riders sent it despite icy conditions – Olympic pressure in last qualifier for Sochi
Stoneham, Quebec, has once again lived up to its name, in a sportive way and weather-wise.
While the halfpipe was pretty icy due to the cold temperatures, the freestyle snowboarders took their last chance to qualify for the Olympics more than serious and showcased some exciting runs.
With the top-3 of each heat directly advancing to the finals and rank 4 to 9 to the semis, both scheduled for next Saturday, the perfect setting was provided for some enthralling halfpipe action in this season's last Halfpipe World Cup event.
And unsurprisingly the riders who already had their Olympic team spots in store, did sent it big times.
However, Switzerland's Jan Scherrer also took his last opportunity serious putting some pressure on his national team mates who are currently placed better in the world ranking list which is decisive for the allocation of the national quota spots for Sochi.
Besides Scherrer, also Ryo Aono (JPN), Johann Baisamy (FRA) made it directly to the finals of the top-12 from heat 1.
Heat 2 will be represented by Ilkka-Eemili Laari (FIN), Scotty James (AUS) and Dolf van der Wal (NED).
On the women's side of things, Rana Okada (JPN), Rebecca Sinclair (NZL) and Sophie Rodriguez (FRA) did earn their ticket to the final of the top-6 ladies.
The remaining six spots for the men and three spots for the ladies will be fought out in the semi finals which are scheduled for Saturday, Jan 18, at 11 AM ET (5 PM CET).
The finals will take place right after at 1 PM ET (7 PM CET) and be broadcasted live on MCS (France), Orange (POL) and http://universalsports.com