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Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup
Halfpipe and snowboardcross.
World Cup circus is back at the hosting venue of the last
Snowboard WCS / Olympic qualification enters crucial phase
After a break of one and a half months, the world’s best snowboarders are getting back to business at the NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup 2005/2006. In Canadian Whistler, more than 220 athletes from 25 different countries enter the crucial phase of the Olympic winter from December 8th through 11th because the December and January events are the last decisive ones as qualifiers for Turin 2006. The Snowboard Cross aces open this season’s sixth tour stop with two races on the 2005 World Championships slope on December 8th and 9th. The following two days are reserved for the freestylers who will drop in the Halfpipe to impress the judges with their tricks.
Like the last tour stop in Saas-Fee, the snowboarding elite will start in Canada, too. With Xavier Delerue (FRA), Lukas Gruener from Austria, US-American Nate Holland who triumphed in Switzerland and his fellow countryman and current World Champion Seth Wescott as well as “Canadian Rocket” Jasey Jay Anderson the top-5 riders of the current Snowboard Cross World Cup standings have applied to race. They have to compete with other favourites like Swiss Guillaume Nantermod and Ueli Kestenholz, Stefano Pozzolini (ITA), Dieter Krassnig (AUT) and German Michael Layer. In addition, 37 years-old living winter sport legend Shaun Palmer (USA) will struggle for a top result, too.
In the ladies’ competition, the current fastest women will start, too – despite World Cup leading Lindsey Jacobellis (USA). Above all, the French equipe with Marie Laissus, Deborah Anthonioz and Julie Pomagalski already proofed in this winter that they should not be underestimated. The same is for the Swiss riders like Tanja Frieden, Olivia Nobs, Mellie Francon and Kathrin Kellenberger who all have chances to jump on the podium like Maelle Ricker and Dominique Maltais (both CAN). They all also have to face last winter’s World Cup winner Doresia Krings and Doris Guenther (both AUT) as well as Zoe Gillings (GBR). One can also be curious if Anna-Lena Zuck from Germany is able to repeat her fourth spot from Chile.
In the Halfpipe, the Canadian fans can look forward watching a strong armada coming from Europe. Germany sends with Xaver Hoffmann, Vinzenz Lueps, Jan Michaelis and Christophe Schmidt four riders who can capture the top podium spot. Miikka Hast and Janne Korpi are coming from Finland, Daniel Franck, Kim Christiansen and Fredrik Austbo from Norway. But Switzerland wants to make it on top as well featuring former World Champion Markus Keller and Frederik Kalbermatten. They all will meet Canadian locals Crispin Lipscomb and Brad Martin, Czech Martin Cernik and Saas-Fee’s top gun Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN).
UK riders Dom Harington, Dan Wakeham and Ben Kilner are competiting in the halfpipe, all looking for a top 25 to take them to the Olympics in Turin.
In the women’s pipe, the Canadian focus will be on Mercedes Nicoll and Maelle Ricker. Their competitors for the final and the podium are for example Heidi Kurkinen (FIN), Lesley McKenna (GBR) who recovered from injury, Japanese riders Mero Imai and Soko Yamaoka as well as Kjersti Buaas (NOR) and Swiss Manuela Laura Pesko and Andrea Schuler.
The Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup event page can be administered by dunx (Dunx), stu (Stu Brass), spencer (Spencer Claridge) and office (Office).
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