NISSAN WHITE STYLE
Trond Hansen - The winner of the Nissan White Style presented by Kona
Last Saturday, February 2nd, the third anniversary of the Nissan White Style presented by Kona showcased sizzling international mountain bike freeride action in Leogang, Austria. The riders ripped the perfectly shaped slopestyle course until the late evening.
Trond Hansen from Norway won the contest by showing the crowd a trick loaded run with lots of style. But also the other competitors surprised the spectators with amazing riding performance.
After the arrival on Friday the 22 riders out of eight countries were able to test and ride the well and diversified shaped course of Grant Fielder for the first time. Two big sized doubles right after the start were followed by a huge berm and the very technical satellite dish. The challenge went on into the step-up /step-down box providing a 12ft. drop/road gap which the riders had to launch over the Nissan truck.
After this tricky obstacle the last double marked the end of the course. The riders had lots of airtime over the last jump and the spectators enjoyed the great variation of tricks.
The two qualifying runs on Saturday afternoon were dominated by Grant Fielder, Martin Söderström and Benny Korthaus. Grant came up with a nice and clean line, including a x-up-one-footed backflip, a superman-seatgrap, a no-footed cancan out of satellite dish and a stylish tailwhip at the last big air.
The young Swedish rookie Martin Söderström impressed the judges with a 360-tailwhip, a 360-barspin, a lookdown at the satellite dish and a barspin up the step-up and an overall very clean and technical run.
Benny Korthaus rocked the course and the spectators went nuts when they saw the height of his jumps. He pulled a 360-table top and a backflip at the first two doubles followed by a big 360 from the huge step down box and a backflip tabletop at the last obstacle. With this amazing run Benny qualified first for the finals and surely was the man to watch for the finals' win.
The crazy young gun Andreu Lacondeguy couldn't control his Spanish blood and tried in his second run a double backflip at the last jump. The Kona Clump team rider had too much speed, he got the highest amplitude, but unfortunately over rotated the double flip and landed at the end of the slope right on his back. Being knocked out for a few seconds, he had to fight the rest of the day suffering some pain, but he kept on riding, making his way into the finals.
The judges already knew after the Qualifying that the level among the top 12 riders is very high and it will be really hard to predict who will be on the podium. All 12 riders had great chances to make it into the top 5.
After the riders had warmed up by drinking Hot Bull in the chilling Nissan Dome and the sun had gone down, the lights were turned on and it was time for the finals. At 09.00 pm numerous spectators were waiting for the riders to show how progressive freeride mountain bike action can be - even on snow.
Benny Korthaus had a lot of bad luck in his two final runs. He crashed in both runs, once attempting again the 360-drop and in his second run he fell when trying the 360-whip at the big final jump, so he finished 10th at the end of the day. But the German riders were still fighting for the podium.
Andi Wittmann used the first two doubles to do a 360 and a x-up-one-footed backflip, table toped out of the satellite dish, barspinned the step-up, ended his run with a big tailwhip indian air and got third.
Amir Kabbani from Munich even topped this run by showing a tailwhip and backflip first, pulling a nice no-foot cancan out of the satellite dish, barspinned the step-up, x-uped the step-down and finished his run with a stylish and perfectly landed superman seatgrab.
There was only one rider who could top these two runs: Trond Hansen. Next to a 360-table top, a Backflip right after the start and a clean table top one-foot at the satellite dish, a barspin onto the step-up he landed one of the highest jumps in the contest - a perfect frontflip at the last double.
In between the two runs the Boom Boom Clap Soundsystem with Tai Jason und Ali A$ heated up the crowd with a raw German rap performance and a special verse about the Whites Style.
After a short break for the judges to eliminate the best 5 riders, Trond was holding his 2.000 € check in his hands and said:
"It was a great day for me. Riding the snow wasn't that difficult like I thought, I got good grip and enjoyed every minute. Well, dirt is the better choice of course for me, but I had fun, real fun and now I am really motivated for the upcoming season."
All the riders and a lot of the spectators were partying until the early morning in the Kralleralm, enjoying tight beats from the Lionhouse Crew. Due to the sizzling atmosphere, even Andreu forgot his pain and everybody enjoyed themselves.
Results Nissan White Style presented by Kona:
1st Trond Hansen - Specialized - (NOR)
2nd Amir Kabbani - Cannondale - (GER)
3rd Andi Wittmann - Giant - (GER)
4th Martin Söderström - / - (SWE)
5th Andreu Lacondeguy - Kona - (ESP)
6th Lluis Lacondeguy - Kona - (ESP)
7th Mike Smith - DMR - (UK)
8th Lance McDermott - Scott - (UK)
9th Sam Pilgrim - Diamondback - (UK)
10th Benny Korthaus - Specialized - (GER)
11th Rob J (GER) - Rocky Mountain - (GER)
12th Grant Fielder - Kona - (UK)
Watch out for the next event at Leogang, if you haven't been at the Nissan White Style presented by Kona last Weekend:
The Out of Bounds weekend (June, 5th-8th) will provide a well-packed 4-day program including various contest-formats for everybody. But the ultimate highlight on this weekend will be the 26TRIX contest. It is the biggest mountain bike dirt jump contest worldwide. The who is who of the international freeride-scene will join this event. This invitational-only event pushes the trick level in mountain biking higher and higher every year. In addition to that, an exhibition area and after show parties with live music acts will turn this weekend into a real mountain bike freeride festival. So see you in Leogang.
More information required? Please check out: www.bikepark-leogang.com
NISSAN WHITE STYLE