Gian-Luca Cavigelli wins first big air in Asia

Gian-Luca Cavigelli celebrates his first career big air victory in Seoul/Korea. About 50,000 spectators witness first ever Big Air World Cup in Asia.

big air in Seoul.  Picture: FIS  Oliver KrausGian-Luca Cavigelli has won the season’s fourth big air of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup thus clinching his career’s first World Cup win. The 21-years-old Swiss successfully competed against the strong international field by earning 52.4 points in front of 50,000 spectators on the Gwanghwamum square. Stefan Gimpl (AUT, 51.2) who still sits on the first spot of the World Cup ranking and reigning World Champion Markku Koski from Finland (50.4) rounded out the first big air podium on the Asian continent as second and third respectively.

Right in the training session and also later on during the qualifying heat which all 29 riders coming from ten nations had to undergo Gian-Luca Cavigelli had impressively underlined that it would be his time to celebrate at the big air in Seoul. “The whole set-up was amazing. The kicker was very good. So everything was served for pedal to the metal!” the currently best ranked rider in the World Cup from Switzerland said. And he definitely pushed it to the limit also reducing the lead of current World Cup leader Stefan Gimpl down to 700 points with only one big air to go in Quebec next January. 26.3 points were equal to the number one spot of the qualification heat.

big air in Seoul.  Picture: FIS  Oliver KrausAnd Cavigelli tied up to where he stopped. By throwing in an incredible “Backside 1080 Double Cork” he earned a comfortable lead giving him the chance to train his “Cab 900” in run two just to stomp it perfectly in the decisive third jump. “I knew that I just needed a safety jump. So, I had trained the Cab 900 in run two. It’s amazing that I was able to win as in the end it’s always getting close” Cavigelli resumed after his career’s first victory in his
24th World Cup start. 

It was only 1.2 points which made the tiny difference between Gold and being a runner up. However, Gimpl had to accept the second rank, which seemed to be reserved for Cavigelli this season (London, Barcelona). After having won all three big airs in this season so far, the 30-years-old veteran was pleased with the result as he just made it to the final round as tenth of the qualifier: “Well, you have to have luck sometimes. But I’m very glad that I made it to the finals. And we shouldn’t forget that Gian-Luca (Cavigelli) definitely deserved to win today.”

The Austrian World Cup leader sticked a “Frontside 900” and “Cab 900” to bring home his career’s 17th World Cup podium.

Markku Koski who had clinched the World Championships title in Korea just ten months ago was also happy about his World Cup career’s first ever big air podium which he earned by nailing a “Cab 900” and “Backside 900 Rodeo”. “I’m so stoked about this podium finish especially as I landed my Rodeo. In fact it’s a pity that I bailed my Cab 1080 in the first run but I guess I was a little bit tired.”

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