Last weekend we went to the famous snowboarder friendly resort Les Deux Alpes for the second stop in french territory of the European Peanut Butter and Rail Jam tour. After a quick check in on the Friday, we were happy to enjoy a bluebird day on a perfectly shaped and really fun snowpark. Shapers were working on the PBRJ setup at the bottom of the slopes and everything looked pretty good for the next day. Unfortunately, three things could have gone wrong: Saturday was a transfer day which means tons of traffic in the valley, the weather forecast predicted rain all day up to 2500m, and last thing, we had some doubts on the efficiency of the new mountain extreme sport energy drink known as genepi.
Anyway, as predicted the weather was really bad the day of the event but the snow was soft and at least we didn’t get much rain, and the energy of the contest, some hot tea, and amazing pizzas and bruschettas kept everyone psyched all day.
The set up consisted on a down rail, a double kink and a flat bar to gap that we switched with a gap to rail for the 16+ and open divisions. It isn’t often that we could get three of our team riders to judge impartially the contest and they did a great job, tons of thanks to Arthur Longo, Olivier Gittler and Valerian Ducourtil, staying focus all afternoon.
After a long warm up with some classic Appalachian hillbilly songs the contest started with the 15 and under division with an on fire Cesar Reversade that came all the way from Meribel and took the 3rd place, forgetting one rail to score maximum points...he was disappointed but will get his chance at the PBRJ champs in LAAX. Young local Arthur Ney took the second place and Tom Picanoles took the win riding solid on the three obstacles and landing all his tricks.
Zam getting an after St Patrick stomac massage
In the Girls division a lot of action went down and the judges were impressed, the girls had the legs to land their tricks on the mushy snow and down the gap. Marion Haerty was riding really good all and solid day but couldn’t land all her tricks during her heat and took the second spot while Cristina Monclus worked methodically on each rail until she lands her bangers, finishing up at the first place. Later in the day Marion landed a nosepress on the gap to rail grabbing her board during the transfer and on the rail that got her Electric Gooeyest move of the day award and 50€ to put in her wallet…
The 16 and over division was very disputed and guys such as Stephane Buffard was getting wild on the down rail with some boardslide to front board, front board to switch 50 pretzel out, but that wasn’t enough to finish on the podium. Dorian Allegre (7Laux) had some bad slams (Zam from Alpe D’huez had maybe the worst) but landed good tricks on the three spots and finished up at the 4th spot, Ugo Santalucia has a crazy style and killed the rails into the 3rd place and Remy Trenand was definitely getting the hammers on the down rail and the gap to rail into the 2nd place, watch out for these two at the champs! Young Alex Mallet took the win working meticulously on every rail since 9 am, after qualifying 2 years ago in 7Laux, he’ll be back to Laax, good job!
The level went up a notch for the open division and Damien Gardenal and Max Schille from Nancy snowdome were outstanding (their own ways, Damien going smoothly, Max getting heavy with some 450 in etc…) without placing in the top 4. Damien Rousse was riding good but got some troubles with the double kink, so did Manuel Gomes who was on fire despite breaking a brand new board, they both finished at the 4th place. Thomas Chassagne took the 3rd spot with stylish backlips and other combos and went home with 100€ along with a qualification to the champs, local Brit David Graham had tons of support cheering for him all day and masterizes the sexchanges (the snowboard trick), he rode really smooth all day landing every trick he tried and finished at the 2nd place getting 150€ and the right to prepare some meals at Smithy’s. Vincent Bosson was übersmooth and getting supertechnical into the first spot, earning himself 200€ and we will be pleased to see him ride again in LAAX.
The contest ended with a giveaway shower under some sunrays and everybody went home with prizes. That was a really good day despite the side effects of the beverage mentioned above and the bad weather, thanks to everyone that help us run the event: The judges Arthur, Olivier and Valerian, Sylvain and the snowpark crew, Nico for the pictures, Fred for the movie, our reps David and Medhi for the support, Seb “chouchou” Bisbau, Annick from 2Alpes, Pizzeria L’Abri, Nitro, Electric and Aerial7 for the extra prizes and everyone that came up that day (even snowboard legend Yannick Amevet, that arrived during the breakdown).
The day wasn’t over yet as some more catering was organized at Yannick’s new shop Super White and then a Grand Opening party was held at the unfamous Smithy’s under the theme of Genepi (thanks again Yannick).
1) CRISTINA MONCLUS
2) MARION HAERTY
3) HELENE NIEREDETH
4) LIORA WEIL