June 20, 2005 (Saalbach Hinterglemm, GER.) – For nearly one week the small town of Saalbach Hinterglemm turned into a Freeride Mekka — the second edition of the Adidas Slopestyle Contest pulled the fourty best freeriders in the world to Austria as well as 100 journalists and photographers and the “who’s who” of the international freeride community. After two impressive qualifier runs on Friday, the TOP 15 riders performed a rock show in the finals today, flying over the massive obstacle course designed by the Canadian Adidas Rotwild rider Gareth Dyer.
Due to bad weather conditions the organizers had postponed the finals which were originally scheduled for Saturday to Sunday and that decision paid off. Sunny blue skies and warm temperatures made up the perfect setting for a spectacular show. Cheering spectators lined the Adidas Slopestyle course from top to bottom and created the right atmosphere for a big show.
After the first final run it was clear that today’s Slopestyle battle would most likely be decided between Darren Berrecloth (CAN), Aaron Chase (USA), and Timo Pritzel (GER) who all had a score of more than 37 points. The second final run saw the combat “˜360’ versus “˜backflip’. When Aaron Chase pulled off four huge backflips in a row, it was quite evident that he would regain the hot seat he got knocked of by Darren Berrecloth in the first round. Down in the finish ball he doddered since the four rotations had made him dizzy. “I am completely stoked about this event”, Chase raved who for the first time rode a full suspension bike in a comp. “Gareth Dyer created an awesome course that contains every element one can ask for — the perfect combination of big mountain drops, street style elements like the truck or the curved and slanted wallrides and dirt jumps at the end. I personally love the Slanted Wallride, that is so much fun.”
When Aaron Chase conquered the hot seat with his four backflips, he kicked off Mr. Backflip himself, Timo Pritzel, who had just “˜ascended to the throne’ after a flawless second run for which he was awarded with the high score of 10 points by the fluidity judge and great style scores. Aaron Chase, however who also got the perfect ten for fluidity scored even higher on tricks, obstacles, and style. Now two more world class riders were waiting at the start with the ambitions to beat him: Cameron Zink and Darren Berrecloth. Cameron was the first to chase Chase with the highest obstacle score of the day and a series of four stylish 360s, two of which were 360 X-ups. But he failed to take the hot seat by a hair’s breadth – only 0,004 points were missing to the first place.
“I cannot allow these kids to beat me”, Bearclaw said to himself before he went off for his final run and pulled everything out of the hat he could: Table Top off the Step up Step down Drop, 1 Footer, 360 off the Box, Table Top off the Gondola, 360 out of the Slanted Wallride, No Foot Can Can at the Spine, 360 X-up on the first dirt jump followed by a Superman Seat Grab and a super stylish 360. The crowds went mad.
The high level of the riders’ performance put a lot of pressure on the seven judges Hans Rey (Head), Tarek Rasouli (Style), Derek Westerlund (Style), Tibor Simai (Fluidity), Ben Gordon (Obstacle) and Vince Vegas/ Mario Preining (Trick). They carefully watched the slow motions on the giant screen and analysed every single move before making their final decision. “The top riders were so close and we didn’t want to make a mistake which asked for 100 percent concentration for nearly three hours”, Hans Rey said after the comp. “Now we are really exhausted.”
As the minutes passed by the tension increased. All eyes focused on the giant screen, waiting for the results for Darren. Finally the screen split and a green box appeared — first place for Bearclaw. With a perfect 10 in fluidity, the highest trick score of the day and two straight 9s in Style, the Canadian won the Adidas Slopestyle 2005 with an advantage of almost 2 points to Aaron Chase. “I am really stoked”, Darren said. “To win this prime contest with such a top-class field means a lot. You have to show more than just hitting a big drop. What counts are tricks and style. I don’t think it has ever been so close. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible. It was awesome!”
For his victory Darren Berrecloth was awarded with a check of 4000 Euros, almost one third total prize purse of 12 500 Euros issued among the TOP 10 riders. For being the only competitor who hit the 10 metre drop, the American Carlin Dunne was awarded with a special prize — the “šBig Balls Award’. All riders were full of praise for the event and Saalbach Hinterglemm. “Everyone was stoked and said they had the most fun ever at an event” said Adidas Slopestyle course designer Gareth Dyer, who didn’t make it into the finals. “I am so relieved that weather finally changed. This week I went from very worried and frustrated to very happy and satisfied.”
On Friday night the Goat King Dirt Jump took place in the lower section of the Slopestyle course. This year, seven riders fought for 2500 Euros of prize money and the living goat trophy.
Each rider had three jumps of which the two best made up the total score. Adidas rider John Jesme (USA) proofed impressively that he can do a lot more than just backflip — for his 360 — Nothing — Backflip and 360 — Backflip — Superman combinations he received the second highest score of the evening and thus secured a second place in front of Scandinavia’s best dirt jumper Trond Hansen from Norway.
The unmistakable Goat King, however, was the American rider Cameron Mc Caul who rocked the house with a super stylish Backflip – Superman Seat Grab – Tail Whip combination. Goat stall owner Toni Enn personally presented the special goat trophy, daughter of “˜Goat Timo’ named after last year’s winner Timo Pritzel, that will from now on be called Cameron in honour of the Goat King 2005.
Final Ranking Adidas Slopestyle — total pointsName Total Points
1. 9 – Darren Berrecloth (CAN) 42,173
2. 25 – Aaron Chase (USA) 40,221
3. Cameron Zink (USA) 40,218
4. Timo Pritzel (GER) 38,638
5. Cameron Mc Caul (USA) 37,809
6. Thomas Vanderham (CAN) 36,261
7. Trond Hansen (NOR) 35,174
8. Carlo Dieckmann (GER) 34,516
9. Geoff Gulevich (CAN) 33,919
10. Kamil Tatarkovic (CZE) 32,758
11. Carlin Dunne (USA) 32,007
12. Michal Marosi (CZE). 31,739
13. John Cowan (USA). 31,111
14. Cedric Gracia (FRA). 28,637
15. Kirt Voreis (USA). 26,584
Ranking Goat King — total points
1. Cameron Mc Caul (USA) 83,10
2. John Jesme (USA). 79,90
3. Trond Hansen (NOR). 78,60
4. John Cowan (USA). 76,40
5. Cameron Zink (USA). 72,70
6. Gareth Dyer (CAN). 59,50
7. Micke Bolmstam (SWE). 33,90