While we wait for the FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe World Cup to get back to action in Kreischberg (AUT) in the new year, there was some good news out of Switzerland today where Corvatsch played host to an Audi Snowboard Series European Cup slopestyle competition in the resort’s famed terrain park. While it was something of a “pop-up” event due to covid-related uncertainties with regional authorities, in the end the event was allowed to proceed after some diligent work from the Swiss Snowboard contingent, with athletes from 16 nations represented and some exceptional riding going down throughout the day.
Both the men’s and women’s fields in Corvatsch featured a long list of World Cup regulars, with Australia’s Tess Coady taking top spot on the women’s side of things and Italian ripper Emil Zulian leading the way for the men.
While Coady put down a standout qualification run that earned her a score of 94.3, in finals things weren’t so clear-cut, and the the 20 year-old’s top score of 80.5 put her in much closer proximity to the rest of the field. Tuesday’s competition was actually the first and only European Cup start of Coady’s career, as the 20 year-old has competed exclusively on the World Cup tour since her debut in 2016/17.
Second place for the women with a score of 77.5 was Mia Brooks of Great Britain, in what was an incredible debut on the international competition scene for the 13 year-old rider. While we won’t be able to see Brookes on the World Cup circuit until her 15 year-old season, she has quickly established herself as one to keep an eye on until that day comes.
Rounding out the podium in third place was Loranne Smans of Belgium with a score of 73.8, giving her her first podium since the last time she competed in European Cup competition, when she took a win in Livingo (ITA) back in 2018/19.
For the men, Zulian got through qualifications as the second-ranked rider behind Switzerland’s own Nicolas Huber, but in the finals the 23 year-old was able to step his game up and put down a high score of 88.8 to take the win and his fourth career European Cup win (two slopestyle, two big air).
With a best score of 87.0 Huber would be forced to settle for second place behind Zulian, giving the 25 year-old his fourth-straight podium in European Cup competition and the eighth EC podium of his career.
Third place for the men went to another representative of the host nation Swiss squad, with Mortiz Thoenen finishing just back of his teammate Huber with a score of 86.0 for his third career European Cup podium.
As mentioned above, the FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe World Cup will get back to action in the new year, with big air action taking to Kreischberg on 9th January, 2021. Until then, have a safe and happy holidays!