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Air + Style Beijing joins World Cup tour
“Air + Style is one of the most historical snowboard events ever with a very strong reputation. Every snowboarder wants to be part of it sooner or later”, says FIS Race Director Roberto Moresi who is glad that finally things have fallen together.
“There has been a lot of effort from many sides to bring the snowboard community together, and this is a clear sign that it’s happening. It’s a great pleasure and honour to be part of this process.
A process that is needed to furthermore strengthen the presence of this great sport, lifestyle and culture around the globe and to showcase the riders at their best.”
The former Italian Head Coach who was in charge of shaping the 2006 Olympic Halfpipe adds: “The Beijing event is looking better than ever with a great ramp and a great venue. I have to thank all Local Organisers in charge: Beijing Sports Bureau, Air + Style Group and the Chinese Ski and Snowboard Association. All sides have been working hard to put together an entertaining event which hopefully is only the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the FIS World Cup tour.”
Shaun White, professional snowboarder and owner of Air+Style, states: “I'm very excited about the partnership! Joining with FIS is an important step for Air + Style Beijing and for snowboarding to continue to grow here.”
Strong and deep field confirmed
While the Beijing Air + Style event therefore is another step towards reducing calendar clashes for the riders, it's also the first time that women will enter the show in the Chinese capital which saw Marcus Kleveland (NOR), Sebastien Toutant (CAN) and Darcy Sharpe (CAN) taking the respective first, second and third rank last year.
And also this year, some of the world's best riders have registered to take home the glory from the Asian offshoot of the Air + Style series whose first edition took place back in 2010.
In the men's event, Team Norway has registered a strong roster consisting of reigning Big Air World Champion Staale Sandbech, Torgeir Bergrem, Mons Roisland, Markus Olimstad and Emil Andre Ulsletten.
But Canadian top guns Sebastien Toutant and Mark McMorris or ramp specialists like Roope Tonteri (FIN), Seppe Smits (BEL), Niklas Mattsson (SWE), Ryan Stassel (USA) as well as rookies Alberto Maffei (ITA) and Hiroaki Kunitake (JPN) who both had a great showing making it to the Milan Big Air finals two weeks ago, have some mad skills, too.
Over in the women's event and following her triumph in Italy beginning of November, it seems that the 2017-18 World Cup season provides the same storyboard as in the previous winter with reigning Big Air World Champion Anna Gasser being again the one lady to beat.
However, it won't be plain sailing for the 26-year-old Austrian on Beijing's massive scaffolding ramp as shredders like Klaudia Medlova (SVK), Cheryl Maas (NED), Enni Rukajarvi (FIN), Christy Prior (NZL) and Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) do also know a few things about spinning in style.
Watch the Beijing World Cup promo trailer here.
Watch Anna Gasser talk about her favourite recent Instagram posts here.
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