Once again the FMB World Tour season started in front of the backdrop of Leogang’s ‘Steinberge’ with the only mountain bike slopestyle contest on snow: White Style. Training and qualification were held in perfect bluebird condition, but during the final runs fog moved in. As a result of decreasing visibility, the event eventually had to be canceled after the quarterfinals.
White Style, now in its 13th edition, once again attracted a field of 20 elite slopestyle riders from 6 nations. For the first time in White Style history, the 16 athletes who made it through qualification had to battle each other in a head-to-head elimination format, with the loser of each match-up being knocked out of the contest. During training, the 20 invited riders already showed that the level of riding continues to rise with each edition. As a result, the crowd at the Schantailift was already treated to several Double-Flips and 720s during qualification. One of the early highlights was an unbelievably clean Backflip-Superman-Seatgrab by Spanish young gun Marcel Durbau.
As the sun set and the lights turned on, the elimination rounds started with the Round of 16. Unfortunately, a developing bank of fog led to decreasing visibility for the riders and as a result, the contest was put on hold after the quarterfinals. While conditions improved after 30 minutes, the four remaining riders decided not to start again, which led to the cancelation of the contest without the possibility of a fair final ranking.
While the slopestyle stars were warming up for the finals after qualification, another highlight was held at the Schanteilift: the SCOTT Snow Downhill Race. About 60 ambitious Downhill riders participated in the race and kept spectators entertained. The fastest rider in the men’s field was Johannes Hägele, followed by Thomas Rieger and Peter Fernbach. Paula Zibasa won the women’s race for the second time in a row. Second place went to Celine Blochberger while Nina Hofer took home third.