Ruka (Finland). With another beautiful and sunny day the final Halfpipe contest of the 2000/2001 Nokia Snowboard FIS World Cup was held today. Markus Jonsson from Sweden and Swiss rider Fabienne Reuteler won, Sweden’s Magnus Sterner and Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany claimed the Halfpipe World Cup titles.
Three riders have been the contenders for the World Cup podium spots: Magnus Sterner from Sweden, his fellow countryman Stefan Karlsson and Germany’s Jan Michaelis. Sterner had already made it to the finals from the first qualification this morning while Karlsson messed his run, even didn’t make it to the second qualifier and went 39th place finally.
In the finals Sterner was only beaten by his teammate Markus Jonsson who claimed the highest score in both the first and the second run but finishing second Sterner was safe for the World Cup title. “This is great,” he said, “it has been a long season and it’s nice to finish it with the overall win. My favourite contest this season was Asahikawa since we had a very good pipe there but I also liked the one in Park City with all those top riders in the competition and a good battle there. I’m looking forward to go home now, spend a little time with my friends and also go out snowboarding ¿ just ride as much as I can, starting already next Tuesday…” Stefan Karlsson stayed second overall with Jan Michaelis taking third (he has pulled fourth behind Takaharu Nakai from Japan in today’s contest). “I’m really satisfied,” the German said ¿ it has been his first season on the FIS tour, “my goal was a to finish top ten overall so being third is just great and I didn’t expect this to happen at all. Now I am looking forward to go home and the first thing to do will be getting the driver’s license…”
Defending World Cup champion Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany missed the podium in the final race with finishing fourth place but that was enough to take the Halfpipe World Cup chrystal globe. “I’m the happiest women on this planet today,” she said. “It would have been nice to conclude the season with a podium but I’m glad I could ride at all. I didn’t think that I was able to since I almost couldn’t walk yesterday after a bad crash in training. I was super nervous at the start for the first qualification run but when I got that one down I was so relieved. It has been pretty tough this season and the pressure was on everyone since we had to go for the nations quota spots for the 2002 Olympics. That’s why this second title even counts more for me than last year.”
Swiss rider Fabienne Reuteler won the final contest ahead of Kjersti Buaas from Norway and Sweden’s Anna Hellman but none of those three had the chance to make it to the Halfpipe World Cup podium.
Stine Brun Kjeldaas from Norway claimed second place overall although she has not been at the start for today’s contest. British rider Lesley McKenna pulled third.
The 2000/2001 World Cup season will be concluded with the Snowboard Cross tomorrow.