Talented young Swiss rider Gian-Luca Cavigelli has won the fourth world cup big air competition of the year. The 21-year-old, who came second at the London Freeze Festival in the UK with a backside rodeo seven, beat a star-studded field to take the top place on the podium ahead of Stefan Gimpl and Markku Koski. Cavigelli threw down a massive backside 1080 double cork on his first run, leaving him with two the two runs to land his second trick, a cab 900. Against this, Gimpl could only offer his signature cab nine and a front nine. Koski staked his claim to the third podium place with a rodeo 900 and cab 9.
This year’s world cup contests have so far been ludicrously close, with Gimpl having beaten Cavigelli twice (in London, and then again in Barcelona) each time by a matter of a few points. This event was no exception, with just 1.2 points separating the top two. While this result evens up the score slightly, the Austrian veteran known as “The Gimp” is still the tour leader, having also won the third big air comp of this year’s tour in Stockholm. He said: “Well, you have to have luck sometimes. But I’m very glad that I made it to the finals. And we shouldn’t forget that Gian-Luca (Cavigelli) definitely deserved to win today.”
The contest, which took place in the Gwanghwamum square in central Seoul, South Korea, was watched by a massive crowd of 50,000 spectators. This is the first time a World Cup big air competition has been staged in the far eastern country – judging by the size of the audience I’d say there’s a good chance the tour will return here! While the World Cup events occasionally lose out to TTR World Tour comps like the Air & Style when it comes to attracting the biggest names in snowboarding, competition is still fierce for the FIS title. With the Gimp and Cavigelli running neck and neck at the moment, the fifth and final stage of the circuit, which takes place in Quebec in January, looks set to provide an exciting finish to this year’s competition. Watch this space.