It seems that Shaun Palmer’s newfound mountain biking career hasn’t entirely averted his eyes from his first love, BoarderCross. He took both the overall title and a first place in the final event of this year’s Swatch/ISF BoarderCross World Tour on April 6 winning a classic Harley.
Having lived up to his claim that no Europeans would be riding away on an American machine, he hammed it up in usual Palmer style on his brand new motorcycle with second place finisher Bertrand Denervaud at the winners circle at Laax, Switzerland. Reto Gurtner, Laax Ski Resort owner and purported Harley fan, donated the bikes at the beginning of the season for the winners of the event: Palmer for the men, and Austrian Nici Pederzolli for the women.
“Hey, I won,” Palmer says. “But I’m not into Harleys, so I don’t really know what to do with it. I guess Ill try to sell it.” Rumor has it that he might try to sell the Harley back to Gurtner. Despite a storm that moved in Thursday, bringing bitter cold and sideways blowing snow, some 2,000 to 3,000 people turned up for the Laax competition where Denervaud, Palmer, and third place finisher Tor Bruserud battled until the very end. “Denervaud might have lost, but I keep telling Palmer that Bertrand is the most consistent BoarderCrosser in the industry and we should sign him on,” says Bud Fawcett, Palmer Snowboard’s marketing director. Although Pederzolli beat out second and third place finishers Pepe Ahonen of Finland and France’s Karine Ruby, in the women’s event, Austrian Margueritte Cossettini took the overall title with a fifth place finish in Laax. This year’s BoarderCross took place on the same kind of radical, yet well-planned course Laax has a reputation for, with one twist: Out of the start, three competitors went to a mandatory banked right turn, while the other three veered to a mandatory left, meeting together 100 yards down on a vertical jump which launched them over (hopefully) a 10-foot by 20-foot water pit. One Austrian F2 rider landed in the water, unstrapped his board, then cannonballed back in to keep up with the Laax party atmosphere. “Laax really goes way out of the way, spending a lot of money setting up the mountain for a three-day party,” Fawcett says. “They built an extreme course, put up a stage with a quality sound system, and even had to close the gates because too many people were showing up to hear the music.” ISF BoarderCross: Laax Switzerland Results (4-6-96) Recap on the Tour
Final Overall Tour Results
November 22: This season’s World Tour was the largest BoarderCross tour with top riders from around the world competing for a purse of $20,000 per event. It began November 22 in Solden, Austria, where Germany’s Nicola Thost and Melina Holzer, and France’s Angelique Correze-Hubert, placed first, second, third, and Palmer placed first over Italy’s Fabio Castello. ISF Boardercross World Tour Official Result List at Solden (11-22,23,24-96) December 20: The Val D’Isere, France, competition held on December 20-22, ended with Cossettini, Austria’s Brigitte Koeck, and Switzerland’s Brigitte Petruzzi, in one, two, three. France’s Nicolas Huet and Laurent Besse, and Austria’s Gernot Raitmair took the top three for the men. ISF BoarderCross: Val d’Isere, France Results (12-18-96) February 14 Denervaud and Palmer moved back up the ranks at Bear Mountain, February 14-16, finishing one-two, followed by Italy’s FFabrizio Bonacina. Finnish Pepe Ahonen dominated the women’s field, with American Nillard Pilavakis, and Austrian Lynda Waddell filling the next two slots.
ISF BoarderCross: Bear Mountain, Results February 28 The infamous Terje Haakonsen stepped up to the block at the Sierra-at-Tahoe competition held Feb. 28-March 2, while Palmer again took second, followed by Austria’s Gernot Raitmair. In women’s, Ahonen, Cossettini, and Pilavakis, proved their dominance once again with first, second, and third places. ISF BoarderCross: Sierra-At-Tahoe, Results (3-1-97) March 12 On March 12-14 at Solitude, Utah, Pilavakis moved up to a solid first in the womens field, with Cossettini, and April Lawyer, United States, coming in behind. Frances Laurent Besse beat out Denervaud and Palmer who finished second and third.