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Park & Pipe European Cup season comes to a close in Austria

Apr 24, 2023·Snowboard Park & Pipe
Romain Allemand (FRA) ©  Andreas Amplatz @ampand_photo

The 2022/23 FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe and FIS Freeski Continental Cup seasons wrapped up over the weekend in Austria, where a huge final week of snowboard action saw 2x halfpipe, slopestyle and big air European Cup competitions take to the slopes of Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, while for freeski the EC season ended with big air competition up high in Stubai.


The week in Kitzsteinhorn was the biggest of the season for snowboard EC competition, with an extra halfpipe competition added to the already busy programme to make up for an event that was cancelled in Leysin earlier in the season. With huge international fields on hand and some down-to-the-wire battles for top spots on the various leaderboards - and the personal World Cup spots for 2023/24 that go along with finishing best overall on the European Cup - there was no shortage of drama and excitement to take in at Kitzsteinhorn last week.

In women’s halfpipe it was young Japanese rider Sara Shimzu announcing herself to the world as a future star in the making, as the 13-year-old went back-to-back with victories at Kitzsteinhorn in what were the first two European Cup starts of her fledgling career.

While Shimzu would leap all the way up to a tie for third place on the European Cup halfpipe standings with her week in Austria, it would be Germany’s Kona Ettel finishing atop the women’s halfpipe EC standings after earning two Kitzsteinhorn podiums last week, and the 15-year-old will now be joining her older sister Leilani on the World Cup circuit next season.

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In men’s halfpipe it was the Germans ruling the week, with Andre Hoefflich and Christoph Lechner each taking a respective win, and their teammate (and Christoph’s brother) Florian Lechner earning back-to-back runner-up finishes to claim top spot overall and his own personal World Cup spot for 2023/24.

Over on the slopestyle & big air side of things the women’s fight for top spot overall was an exceptionally close one, with World Cup regular Melissa Peperkamp of the Netherlands swooping in with back-to-back podiums in Kitzsteinhorn to jump into top spot overall above rising Czech star Vanessa Volopichova.

Peperkamp claimed runner-up results at Kitzsteinhorn in both the slopestyle and the big air competitions (behind winner Mathilde Pizzutto [ITA} in slope, and behind Kiara Moirii [JPN] in big air) to finish with 560 points on the season, while Volopichova would have to settle for second with 546 points after tough 14th and 17th-place finishes in Kitzsteinhorn.

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For the men it was France’s Romain Allemand dominating the slopestyle & big air EC season, as the 16-year-old claimed the slopestyle victory in Kitzsteinhorn on his way to finishing his campaign with 508 points - 178 more than second overall finisher Kira Kimura of Japan.

Loris Framarin (ITA) was the winner of men’s big air competition in Kitzsteinhorn, while Japan’s Ruki Tobitia claimed third in both the slopestyle and the big air competitions.


The closing weekend of action for 2022/23 the freeski European Cup season in Stubai was supposed to consist of both big air and slopestyle competitions. Unfortunately, tough weather at the Stubai Zoo on Saturday meant that the slopestyle portion of the competition was cancelled and we instead finished things off with the lone big air event.

The top two spots on the podium for the women there in Stubai would go to a couple of World Cup regulars, with 16-year-old Muriel Mohr of Germany taking the win and Ukraine’s Kateryna Kotsar grabbing second place. The USA’s Ella Beutler would earn a podium in her first career European Cup start with a third-place result.

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For the men there was even better news for the Ukrainian squad as Orest Kovlenko earned his second EC win of the season. The USA’s James Kanzler would finish as the runner-up, while France’s Nathan Pecqueur Col would take third.

However, none of those results had any influence at the top of the final EC standings, where on the women’s side 15-year-old Flora Tabanelli of Italy would finish the season miles ahead of her closest competitor with 720 points to punch her World Cup ticket for next season, and 18-year-old Gian Andri Bolinger would earn his place on the powerful Swiss World Cup squad by taking top overall spot for the men with 558 points.

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And with that the 2022/23 FIS European Cup season would go into the history books. However, the season as a whole is still not over, as we look forward to August where we’ll head south of the equator to Cardrona, New Zealand, for the Park & Pipe Junior World Championships from August 28-Sept 8.


Full Kitzsteinhorn SB results

Full Stubai FK results

2022/23 European Cup standings SNOWBOARD

2022/23 European Cup standings FREESKI

Kitzsteinhorn SB photos

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