Big Air World Cup 2011: Podium's First Dutchman

First a fourth-place finish in Spain and now a championship victory - Rocco van Straten is a name that will not be forgotten. This wakeboarder turned snowboarder has proven that he should not be underestimated at big air events.

LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Big Air Denver.  Photo: FIS/Oliver KrausRocco van Straten surprised the world by becoming the first Dutch rider to win a big air discipline at a Snowboard World Cup.

The 19-year-old Dutchman stacked up a total score of 53.0 points at the 2011 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup in Denver, Colorado. Rocco Van Straten's score placed him in front of the 2011 World Championships runner-up and Big Air World Cup novice, Zachary Stone (50.8), and Michael Macho (48.5).

Following this victory of historical proportion, Rocco van Straten, a Junior World Champion in both lift and cable wakeboarding was completely shocked.

“I’m super happy," said Rocco. "To be honest, I don’t know what to say. But one thing is for sure: this is the best moment in my whole life so far.”

However, his win at the big air competition in Denver wasn’t his first trick in the last weeks. Van Straten also took the world by surprise by placing forth at the last World Championships in Spain.

“That definitely gave me a push although I had to fight the jetlag today. And then I end up first," explained the Dutch champion. "I didn’t expect anything like this, but I was hoping for a top-5 result.”

The Dutchman sat in fifth after the first two jumps (of which the better one counts) having earned 25.1 points for his cab 900. In the decisive third run, he stomped a huge backside 1080 thus logging in another 27.9 points.

Michael Macho was only able to score 20.7 points in the third round for his backside 720, which secured him a third-place finish.

Big Air World Cup novice Zachary Stone also impressed with a backside 1260 and backside 1080 double cork, but it wasn't enough to overcome Van Straten

The LG Snowboard FIS World Cup will continue in Korea with a single snowboard cross race and a parallel giant slalom, scheduled between Feb 7th and 9th.

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