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The Trials: Bordercross Kicks Off
Sölden, Austria
November 6, 1998

  • Finals: Surprises and slams, but that's Boardercross

    The Swatch Boardercross World Tour Opening in Sölden was an exciting event with riders pushing their limits. It was the first time in four years that we had brilliant weather in Sölden, so thousands of spectators came to see the BX stars.

    Swatch World Boardercross
    For four days, the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden was the place to be for Snowboard freaks. The Swatch Boardercross World Tour Opening took place during 4 days of glorious sunshine, clear blue skies and nice temperatures, ensuring great days for athletes and spectators.

    On Friday, the time trials went off. Over a hundred boarders from over 15 nations had to race against the clock and the best time out of two runs counted. The riders had to prove good nerves and technical experience to be successful on this difficult BX course full of rollers, bumps, sharp banks and steep turns.

    "Over a hundred boarders from over 15 nations had to race against the clock..."

    Top BX riders like Shaun Palmer (USA), Tor Bruserud (NOR), Marguerite Cossettini (AUS) and Karleen Jeffrey (CAN) were at the start. In the women's field, the non-European riders dominated the trials. Maelle Ricker, the 19-year-old Canadian girl, twice finished with the best time. It was surprising that she won, because Maelle is an absolute halfpipe specialist (ISF Junior World Champion 1997).

    Ueli Kestenholz
    [speed demon]
    Karleen Jeffrey/CAN (last year's winner) followed in 2nd just before the Australian BX specialist Marguerite Cossettini, who won in Sölden two years ago.

    In the men's field we had the same results as the day before in the qualification. Ueli Kestenholz/SUI, bronze medal winner in Nagano, catapulted Shaun Palmer/USA out of the lead with a spectacular 2nd run. It was Palmer's first BX in Europe after a one year break and he was back again with this 2nd place in the Time Trials. The Italian rider Davide Marciandi, who just recovered from a serious injury, followed Palmer on rank 3.

    Solden Boardercross '99
    [into the blue]
    On Friday night Sölden was the place to be. The DJ-Club-Tour took place in several bars and pubs. The highlight was for sure the Snowboarder MBM Party in the Avalanche Bar with a surprising live gig. The famous US band Dog Eat Dog, who claim to be the Snowboard band, presented us an awesome concert, where the crowd nearly freaked out. Riders like Ueli Kestenholz or Cecile Plancherel (both SUI) had big fun and danced the whole night through. Dog Eat Dog stated: "It's great to be here. We are working on our new record. So this trip is kind of holidays and very relaxing for us. And it's our first possibility this winter to go snowboarding again."

    Time Trials Results:
    1. Maelle Ricker/CAN
    2. Karleen Jeffrey/CAN
    3. Marguerite Cossettini/AUS
    4. Katharina Keller/SUI
    5. Katharina Himmler/GER
    6. Sandra Farmand/GER

    1. Ueli Kestenholz/SUI
    2. Shaun Palmer/USA
    3. Davide Marciandi/ITA
    4. Pontus Staahlkloo/SWE
    5. Herbert Buchsteiner/AUT
    6. Harald Putz/AUT

    Birgit Gruber, Mountain Zone European Correspondent

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