Johansson and Wehr-Hasler claim season’s last globes

Livigno (ITA). With a Halfpipe event at floodlight the finals of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup were concluded today. Sweden’s Thomas Johansson and NOKIA rider Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany claimed the World Cup globes while Wehr-Hasler and Magnus Johansson from Sweden won the season’s last Snowboard competition.

A crowd of about 3,000 people has shown up tonight for the ultimate contest of the season, obviously having fun while pushing the participants to do big despite the cold and the lack of some of the top riders from the standings.

The men’s Halfpipe World Cup ranking finally displayed a full Swedish podium although two of them could not take part in today’s race further to injuries. One of them, Thomas Johansson, has had such a big lead already prior to the two final events that he did not need any additional points to claim the World Cup so ¿ apart from the pain ¿ it did not hurt him too much to miss the last two contests. “It was a shame that I could not be at those,” he said, “but it feels very good to be here to celebrate with the whole team. That’s the way it should be. I had such a successful season, good riding but I will probably have to extend the break to the next two months and that’s kind of nice too.”

Magnus Sterner, who finished first in today’s competition, moved up to second place in the standings and sent his cousin Fredrik, the second injured, back to third. “It was really funny to share the podium with two injured teammates but at least they made it up there to the stage on their own. We all had a great season with good training and we really pushed it to the limits, therefore it was not so much surprising that something had to happen some time but finally it paid off.”

Left to mention that Kevin Saumade from France finished second today ahead of NOKIA rider Aleksi Litovaara from Finnland.

The women’s World Cup had been decided when US NOKIA rider Tricia Byrnes had not signed up for the finals since she is doing the US Open this weekend. Her NOKIA teammate Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany was safe for the World Cup title though and added another win to her score in today’s finals as if she wanted to confirm her first-ever chrystal globe. “This is a perfect feeling,” she said, completely overwhelmed, “when the entries for the finals were closed two days ago my coaches Patrick and Tim shaved their heads already, but they asked me to win today to make it a really good one. This was my best ever season with nine podiums and two wins, I really don’t know if I could do any better. However, I’m glad it’s done.”

Tricia Byrnes kept second place in the standings. Michiyo Hashimoto from Japan went second today ahead of Sweden’s Anna Hellman who finished third overall.

NOKIA rider “Mr. Bombastic” Matthieu Bozzetto was officially confirmed as the Overall World Cup Champion and claimed his second big globe after last season. His teammate and friend Nicolas Huet went second ahead of Felix Stadler from Austria.

Manuela Riegler, member of the NOKIA team from Austria, also defended the Overall World Cup ahead of France’s Isabelle Blanc and Margherita Parini from Italy.

The mammoth awards ceremonies were concluded with the Nations Cup which went to France in both the men’s and the women’s devision.

Following the official closing of the 1999/2000 NOKIA FIS World Cup the riders, officials and sponsors are right now getting together to conclude the series with the “NOKIA Grazie Party” to be back when racing is scheduled again in just eight months time.