Top guns set bar high for Seiser Alm finals
Enni Rukajarvi (FIN), Sina Candrian (SUI) as well as Seppe Smits (BEL) and Billy Morgan (GBR) have topped their respective qualifier heats at the third stop of the slopestyle World Cup tour which is currently underway at Seiser Alm.
Under a blue bird sky, the award winning and well-prepared snowpark blessed with the beautiful Dolomites as backdrop scenery invited the riders to play on and with the creative course set-up put together by the F-Tech crew – and the riders made no nones about it.
First to drop in were the ladies who didn't make it easy for the judges to determine who should make it to the finals of the best six girls.
However, Rukajarvi, last weekend's impressive LAAX OPEN winner, kept the momentum from her stunning performance in Switzerland by going pretty technical.
The Finnish ripper threw down a 50-50 to backside boardslide as well as a 50-50 to backside 360 out and a backside boardslide to fakie on the three-rail jibbing line before stomping a switch backside 360 to cab 540 indy and a final backside 540 over the table top jumps to earn a 88.25, the highest score of the day.
Sina Candrian took the win in the second qualifier heat with a frontside boardslide, 50-50 to tail, frontside lipslide to fakie as well as a kicker line consisting of a switch backside 540 stalefish, frontside 720 tail and a backside 720 to finish things off.
The finals of the top-6 women (Friday 12 PM CET) are completed by qualifier runner-ups Laurie Blouin (CAN) and Aimee Fuller (GBR) as well as Brooke Voigt and reigning world champion Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) who both earned their spots in the semi finals later that day.
In the men's event, which took place in the afternoon, Seppe Smits and Billy Morgan impressed the judges the most.
While the 2011 world champ from Belgium went crazy with a backside lipslide to fakie, a cab 180 to backside 360 and a backside 270 on to boardslide followed by a frontside 900 melon to cab 1260 melon and a backside 1260 mute over the kicker earning a massive score of 92.50, Billy Morgan was able to even up the ante in the second heat.
The rider from the dry slopes of Great Britain landed a cab 270 on to 270 out, a boardslide to 270 out and a gap to backside noseslide to 270 out in the jibbing section before adding a cab double cork 900 mute, a backside triple cork 1440 and a frontside double cork 1080 to walk home with the highest score of the day (93.25).
Davide Boggio (ITA), Jamie Nicholls (GBR) as well as Rowan Coultas (GBR) and Sebbe de Buck also qualified for the finals of the top-10 men with the Italian going into his first big showdown on the World Cup tour.
Ten more riders will battle for the last four remaining spots in the semi finals scheduled for Friday morning.
Several TV stations will broadcast the slopestyle finals at Seiser Alm live kicking things off at 12 PM CET: Eurosport Asia, Eurosport 2, ORF Sport+, SFR Sport 3, RAI Sport 1 or 2. NBC will stream the finals online.