Marco Grilc has clinched the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup season’s first big air contest. The Slovenian rider residing in Ljubljana secured his career’s first World Cup triumph (54.9) by nailing a backside 1080 double cork in the last run of final of the top-12 earning the comp maximum of 29.3 points. At the highlight of the three days lasting Relentless Freeze Festival at Battersea Power Station, London, Great Britain, Norway’s rising star Staale Sandbech finished second (53.9). Seppe Smits from Belgium rounded out the podium of the high class big air show as third (50.3).
The whole field of 68 riders coming from 14 different countries had made the event right in the heart of the British capital, which took place for the third consecutive year, to a contest full of amazing riding, with the top-3 being the outstanding shredders of the day. About 15,000 spectators not only witnessed 900s and 1080s but also a whole bunch of double corks as well as some nicely executed 1260s.
But the best rider was, without any doubt, Marko Grilc, who almost had missed the whole training session for the finals. “Grilo” was able to hit the jump only twice in order to build up some momentum. “That wasn’t a big problem. I kind of have always troubles to feel the jump.” But in the end, the 27-years-old showed his class in style.
Redemption for Grilc
Besides his final backside 1080 double cork the reigning Air & Style champion also stomped a switch backside 1080 double cork in his first attempt of the finals; a perfect performance which finally helped to forget one of the most bitter moments of his snowboard career.
Two years ago, right at the same spot, Grilc had dislocated his right hip while competing at the first ever big air in London. According to this, the Slovenian was more than just pleased with his 18th World Cup start: “Well, it was time for some big emotions. I’m so stoked. Even more, because the level of riding was incredible. The other riders killed it!”
Sandbech underlines his outstanding skills
One of them for sure was the reigning Slopestyle Junior World Champion. Staale Sandbech showed at his first ever big air World Cup, why he is one of those young kids, who own the future of snowboarding. A clean cab 900 melon and a smooth backside 1080 mute impressed not only the crowd in London but also the judges.
Despite the fact, that he had almost the same problems to get into gear like Grilc had. “I was struggling with the set-up in the training sessions. But fortunately it worked out in the finals. I’m stoked about the result. The level of riding was so high and the crowd here in London was just amazing!”
The LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will continue in Saas-Fee. On November 3rd and 4th, 2010, the season’s first halfpipe competition is scheduled in the Swiss glacier village’s Freestyle Park Allalin.