Big Mountain Pro: St. Anton welcomes the best freeriders
With the riders now gathered in the Austrian town of St Anton, a day of sunshine, and as Jeremy Jones puts it “some really promising snow” conditions, all that is left is for the Big Mountain Pro to get on the mountain.
And there’s no holding back. As the good weather threatens to leave Austria, event director Nicolas Hale Woods is grabbing the opportunity of the near-perfect conditions. “The good news is that we will be using day one,” he said. “The good weather is going to stick for a few days before the low pressure moves in from the south towards the end of the week.”
Wirth is the face the riders will tackle come Wednesday morning. Sitting above the village of St. Christophe in the area of St. Anton, Nicolas says: “We have chosen this face because it offers a lot of choice for the riders. Also, over the past three days we have had the Foehn in this region (the warm southerly wind) and this is one of the faces that’s been protected from that.”
With the final line-up of riders now settled in, this year’s Big Mountain Pro promises to be an intimate and challenging affair, with the level of riding higher than ever.
Confirmed as the twelfth rider, Austrian Thomas Eberharter is looking forward to his first Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro. “This is my first ever freeriding competition,” he said. “I’m more known as a freestyler but I do freeriding just locally. I am just going to go up and enjoy it. It’s something new for me.”
It’s nothing new for local rider Mitch Toelderer who lives in Innsbruck. “I come here about five times a year,” he said. “I haven’t been on the face we are riding tomorrow though.”
“It’s an interesting face,” he said. “It’s not too big, but it’s rolling so it’s going to be hard to find the features. It’s going to be challenge for sure.”
All happening February 4th till 7th, 2009, one of the most historic competitions on the Tour will feature an upgraded Star level, a stacked riders list and a monster 650 meter Slopestyle course.
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