11/03/2011 | by Tom Copsey
On Saturday, 12 February 2011, a piece of snowboard history went into the books as the 20th anniversary of the NESCAFÉ CHAMPS Leysin, the oldest snowboard event in Europe, once again featured a nail biting final. Under sunny skies that made for warm spring-like conditions, the Swiss crowds gathered to relax and watch the high level of riding as both men and women took to the progressive slopestyle course. Slovenian shredder, Cilka Sadar, took a hefty lead early on and won the women’s title, which improved her ranking points to defend her World No. 2 position, while Swiss young gun, Lucien Koch, took home the men’s title. Both winners took home a share of the $ 50 000 USD prize purse and 850 Swatch TTR World Ranking points.
Rookie Lucien Koch takes First in the Men’s Slopestyle
Even though the snow was melting at the speed of light all around the Swiss mountains, the slopestyle course at the NESCAFÉ CHAMPS Leysin was in impeccable shape featuring a mix of kickers, a halfpipe and a wallride. The men’s winner, Lucien Koch, a Swiss rider of only 15-years, impressed the crowds and judges with a stylish frontside 720 on the top kicker, he then smoothly dropped into the pipe and stomped a backside 900 and a frontside 900 then tossed in a huge backside 900 on the bottom kicker that flowed into a tail blunt on the wallride. Lucien, who made his way through the open qualifications, was stoked on his victory and had this to say, “Today was great for me, I won this competition and I can’t believe it! It was perfect for me, because I always ride kicker and pipe, and here you have kicker and pipe in one run”. Earlier in the season, he took third place at the 4Star Nissan Stomp-it and this was his first major Swatch TTR event title, which moved him into the TTR Top 50. In second place was experienced slopestyle rider, Risto Mattila (FIN), and in third Niklas Mattson (SWE).
Cilka Sadar Sits Comfortably in World No. 2
On the women’s side, the riding was truly impressive and current Swatch TTR World No. 2 Cilka Sadar (SLO) took the lead with her first run. On her victory lap, Cilka managed to improve on her first run with a solid performance landing a backside 360, then stomping back to back 540’s in the halfpipe and topping it off with a sweet frontside 540 on the last jump. Cilka is motivated to push through to secure a place on the final TTR Top 3 saying, “ Right now I’m World No. 2 on the TTR tour, it feels great, but I know I can’t really win because of Jamie and Kelly. But, I’m going to try my best to get second or third in the end of the season.” In second place was halfpipe specialist and another Swiss favourite, Ursina Haller, who with this result moved into World No. 8. In third Isabel Derungs, an up-and coming Swiss rider, who last weekend nailed the 4Star Stimorol Engadinsnow title, now sits in World No. 20.
TTR Tour Moving on to The Oakley Arctic Challenge
The heat is on in the Swatch TTR Tour Champion title race and both men and women will be heading up to The Oakley Arctic Challenge in Oslo, Norway for a 6Star slopestyle competition running on 14th-19th February 2011. Check for the live webcast times on freecaster.com and ttrworldtour.com. The end of February will also see the men compete at the 5Star Burn River Jump in Italy on the 22nd to the 25th of Febraury 2011, as well as the 4Star Sony Ericsson Snowboard Fest on the 18th and 19th of February 2011. To keep up to date on the exciting moments before the TTR Tour Champions are crowned at the 6Star Burton US head to ttrworldtour.com.