MC Invitational Report

Big crowds, sunny weather, suspense, and the most original freestyle competition since the Natural Selection last weekend. The Swatch TTR THREE(3)STAR MC Invitational wrapped up on Saturday with an incredible display of big air wizardry. French rider Arthur Longo took the Top spot, earning 550 TTR points, 2000 euros, and moved into TTR World No. 15 with Mathieu Crepel (FRA) taking second and moving into TTR World No. 28, while Thomas Harstad from Norway rounded out the podium in 3rd place.

The competition saw 14 riders move from Tremplin de l’Ayré to the Toue slope where the Ho5 crew shaped a sick 20-meter long kicker that sent the pros into a sweet big air throw down. “I’m pretty stoked about the format,” said Crepel. “The riders really got into the game. They really liked the contest and I was happy to see a big smile on all their faces.”

On Friday, the riders trained to get a handle on the kicker and in the evening history was written as one of the most progressive concepts for competitive freestyle snowboarding was introduced. Each rider wrote down two tricks of their choice and the following morning, Anne-Flore Marxer drew the five tricks for the ‘trick list’: Backflip, Frontflip, Cab 5, BS 9, and a Switch Method.

The finals took place in the late afternoon, with the Top Three riders qualifying for the super-finals and the best four out of five runs counting toward their final score. Arthur Longo, Thomas Harstad and Mathieu Crepel made the three man super-finals where the level of riding increased dramatically. A second trick list was drawn, with the three riders having to perform and stomp their own variations of each trick. The list included a switch BS Rodeo, a switch BS 9 and finally a double backflip.

The super-finals were mighty suspenseful. On the first run only Longo secured the switch BS 9. On the second run, only Crepel stuck the Switch Backside Rodeo. This brought the three pros to double backflip mayhem. Crepel and Harstad however didn’t even try the double backflip, and instead opted to push things differently with Crepel landing a huge switch BS 10. In the end, it was Arthur Longo, who, on the last run, stomped an insane double backflip – the trick he had originally written down for the drawing before the super-finals.

“I’ve never tried it before!” said Longo, after blowing away both the judges and riders. “I was really focused on the top of the course, even if I couldn’t really envision the trick. But I was pretty confident and I finally stomped it. I really enjoyed
the format and look forward to see it again in the future.”

Also of note, Norwegian rider Freddie Austbo also threw down a sick run, finishing 6th and moving into TTR World No. 27. Overall, the Swatch TTR THREE(3)STAR MC Invitational was a great success and has certainly paved the way for a new approach to freestyle snowboarding competition.

Final Results for the MC Invitational:
1. Arthur Longo FRA APO
2. Mathieu Crepel FRA Quiksilver
3. Thomas Harstaad NOR O’Neill
4. Mathieu Gerome FRA Billabong
5. Elias Elhardt GER Rossignol
6. Frederik Austbo NOR Quiksilver
7. Martin Cernik CZE Quiksilver
8. Jakob Wilhelmson SWE Quiksilver
9. Tyler Chorlton GBR Arcus
10. Haakon Tonnessen NOR Rome
11. Heinz Loehle GER Rossignol
12. Biau Dimitri FRA
13. Pierre Rue FRA
14. Morgan Le Faucher FRA Burton

Author: mucca