US Double by Czeschin and Byrnes
Tandadalen (SWE). Heavy snow falls made the seventh Halfpipe of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup a really challenging thing today at Tandadalen. Tommy Czeschin and Tricia Byrnes made it a US double after more than seven hours of racing with tremendous delays due to the weather conditions.
The snow had come back to Tandadalen already last night after the floodlight event was concluded and it has never stopped until the first round of finals had finished for both men and women today. Almost half a meter of new snow caused incredible delays and the second Halfpipe event was finally also held at floodlight unintentional. However, nobody complained since the organisers did an incredible job to keep the pipe in good shape.
Facing heavy snowfalls and strong winds occasionally US rider Tommy Czeschin was already leading the men’s ranking after the first final run. When it suddenly cleared up for the second run as if someone had pushed a button, Czeschin tried to further improve his score but didn’t manage to do so and ended up with the same as in his first run. However, this made him taking the gold, his second-ever after his win at Tandadalen last season. “I’m stoked, it really was time for a win” he said, “first it was very windy up there, blowing super hard and snowing. Then it cleared up for the second run and it was pretty nice. I tried a harder trick, a Frontside 900, but kind of fell but my first run was better.” Tuomo Ojala from Finland received a maximum score for amplitude in his second final run and finished second. “I rode full power and used full speed,” he said, “it was necessary to kind of ignore the conditions and try what ever you could. Fins are quite used to such conditions and that might have helped a little.” His teammate Pasi Voho, member of the NOKIA World Team, finished third. “Every time when I wanted to make some speed the wind came up,” the Fin said, “but I tried as hard as I could. When the wind slowed down for the second I just got the right feeling, like I charged my batteries and then it went all right.”Yesterday’s champion Tommy Johansson from Sweden could not repeat his success with ending up fifth today but he still keeps the lead in the Halfpipe standings. His teammate Fredrik Sterner who finished ninth today remains in second place ahead of US rider Zach Horwitz who was seventh today.
Last year’s Halfpipe World Cup champion Tricia Byrnes who already took the gold in yesterday’s contest completed the US double with the tenth win of her career, her third this season. “It was a bit more challenging,” she said, “it just took all day long, waiting, waiting, waiting, the snow, the weather changes… but I think there was a lot of good riding and despite the conditions it was nice though like it always is up here.” Anna Hellman who lives at Sälen, at just 15 minutes drive from Tandadalen, finished second and with this got the Swedish team at least one podium today. “I’m so happy,” she said, “I didn’t do too good in the first qualification but could work it out and finished second so I was glad to be in the finals today after having missed them last night. I’m glad that I made it there.” Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany kind of had the same problems but also made it to the finals and finished third there. “In the second qualification I learned that I’m still able to ride a pipe,” she said, “it has been too bad over the past days, the Swedish pipe doesn’t seem to be made for me with the short transition. Maybe it worked because I was promised a nice wine for tonight…”In the Halfpipe standings Hellman switched with Wehr-Hasler again for the lead, Byrnes moved up to third.
With this never ending contest the Tandadalen World Cup was concluded and the circuit will be continued next weekend in Ischgl, Austria, featuring Parallel Slalom, Giant Slalom and Snowboard Cross.