From Smits to Gasser, snowboard stars open season at Big Air Milan
Milan’s World Cup event opens the Olympic year for Big Air Snowboard: on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th of November, all the champions will compete on the snowy ramp of the EXPerience Park
Anticipation is growing for the second edition of Big Air Milan, the spectacular Freestyle event at the EXPerience Park in Milan, under the lights of the Tree of Life. The Snowboard World Cup will open the programme in less than two weeks, with the official training on Friday, November 10th followed by qualifications and finals on Saturday 11th.The show will light up again on the following weekend featuring the top freeskiers in the World, in another World Cup contest on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th.
Following the cancellation of the Copenhagen’s stage, the race in Milan will be the opener of the Big Air season, as well as the first 2017-2108 World Cup event in Italy in all Winter Sports. A prestigious première, in one of the most important cities in Europe, with an event that has already gained consensus among the best athletes.
Plenty of champions have already confirmed their participation to the race on the Big Air Milan’s ramp, which is currently under construction at the EXPerience Park right in these days. The Men’s and Women’s Snowboard events are surrounded by big expectations, as they will award precious qualification points in view of PyeongChang 2018, where the Big Air Snowboard discipline will make its Olympic debut. Milan will thus represent the hors d’oeuvres of the Olympic challenges, thanks to its importance and a star-packed lineup.
As for the Snowboard Men’s race, Belgian veteran Seppe Smits is the leading name – second last year in Milan and overall winner of the World Cup. Waiting for the strong Norwegian selection – winners last year in Milan with Marcus Kleveland, and also featuring World Champion Stale Sandbech – to be announced, standing out among the rivals are Finn Roope Tonteri, first in 2016 Moenchengladbach, Americans Chris Corning, Redmond Gerard e Kyle Mack, Brit Jamie Nicholls, Swiss Jonas Boesiger, Canadian Antoine Truchon and Russians Anton Mamaev and Vlad Khadarin (winner of Moscow Big Air). Also in the run will be six Italian athletes, hoping to delight their home fans: Alberto Maffei, Nicola Dioli, Loris Framarin, Cesare Girotto, Nicola Liviero and Emil Zulian.
In the Women’s race, the queen is Austrian Anna Gasser, who dominated last season with four World Cup wins (out of six), including the triumph at Big Air Milan, and gold medalist at the last World Championships in Spain, scoring 100 points with her spectacular third run. The main rivals come from the United States, with rising star Hailey Langland, second in 2016 under the Tree of Life, Jamie Anderson, Olympic Slopestyle winner at Sochi 2014, and Julia Marino. Eyes also on the 20-year-old Brit Katie Ormerod, already winner in Moscow, on Canadian Laurie Blouin and on Slovak Klaudia Medlova. Italy will line up Giorgia Locatin and Margherita Meneghetti.
In conclusion, the ingredients are all there: Milan is getting ready to dress in white and give the unique emotions of a great weekend dedicated to snowboard.