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Nick Goepper dominates the Austrian Freeski Open

Slopestyle action at the highest level, blue-bird skies and a winner beaming with joy: the Austrian Freeski Open 2013 by Atomic at the Snowpark Kitzsteinhorn, Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria, was the finest slopestyle event of this winter season! At the thrilling finals, Nick Goepper (USA) wins ahead of James Woods (GBR) and McRae Williams (USA). Luca Tribondeau (AUT) wins the Austrian Champion titel.

Photo: Mark von Roy

The perfectly prepared course at the Snowpark Kitzsteinhorn included a rail line, gap jump, high rail and a kicker line with two massive kickers. In the morning, 30 riders started in the semi-finals, where they had two runs each with only the best score counting. The ten best riders of the semis moved on to the finals, which took place in the afternoon. Here, each rider did another three runs with the best score counting.

Photo: Mark von Roy

This format delivered thrilling action: Reigning X-Games slopestyle champion Nick Goepper (USA) scored incredible 93.50 points in his first run, showing creative tricks on the rails and sticking a Switch Left Double Cork 1080 Japan and Switch Right Double Cork Misty 1260 Mute and so could ensure victory. James Woods (GBR) impressed with a Double Cork 1080 Japan and Right Double Cork 1260 Truckdriver and was rewarded with the 2nd spot on the podium. In 3rd place came McRae Williams (USA), who scored 92.00 points with a Switch Left Double Cork 1080 Japan and a Switch Right Double Cork 1080 Blunt on the two main kickers showing a lot of style in his run.

Photo: Tom Bause

2-time Austrian Freeski Open winner, Andreas Hatveit (NOR) was rewarded with strong 91.25 points in his 2nd run. His performance though was only enough for the 4th place this year. The 2-time overall winner of the AFP Tour, Gus Kenworthy (USA), also had good chances to take home victory but wasn’t able to stick his 3rd run and had to be content with the 5th place behind Hatveit.

“I feel amazing. I came here for the first time and didn’t know what to expect“, Nick Goepper (USA) said. “The course is great, the mountain is great, food is great, people are great – just having a great time!“

Photo: Mark von Roy

James Woods added: “The level at the Austrian Freeski Open is getting higher and higher. Crazy days! It’s my sixth time in Kaprun and first time on the podium here. Everyone is on such a high level and I’m super happy to ride in such a relaxed vibe with nice people.“

McRae Williams said: “It’s my first time here, the course was perfect, it was a perfect week! If you want to reach the podium here, your run has to be flawless. You have to show hard tricks and style. The vibes were nice out here in Kaprun, couldn’t be happier!“

Photo: Matthias Rhomberg

Already yesterday, the Austrian Champ was crowned at the Austrian Freeski Open: Luca Tribondeau from Wolfsberg (AUT) came in first place, while Jakob Kratzer from Salzburg (AUT) won the second and Dennis Ranalter from Stubai (AUT) placed third.

Photo: Matthias Rhomberg

“This Austrian Freeski Open was an event of worldwide dimension” stated Norbert Karlsboeck chairman of the board of Gletscherbahnen Kaprun AG. “This is one of the best competitions you can find in the Alps. That’s why all participants were really happy.”

On Thursday, the rookies and the ladies had shown extraordinary performances in their competitions. In the girls contest, Lisa Zimmermann (GER) could convince the judges and ensured her 1st spot on the podium. Katie Summerhayes (GBR) won the second place and Kelly Sildaru (EST) came in third.

For further information, results and videos, please visit www.austrianfreeskiopen.com.

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Date: 02/03/2013