Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday January 4, 2012: Winter conditions welcomed in the last full day of training here in Davos at the O’Neill Evolution. The entire field of international and regional riders had their last chance today to test the new Big Air and Rail set up before the business end of the contest kicks off with tomorrow’s Men’s qualifications.
Despite facing testing conditions with periods of gusting winds and snow flurries, the contest course was open to training for the entire day. Riders had the luxury of sneaking in a couple of powder lines between training runs to change it up and keep the brain alert and motivation on high.
The optional line to Rail and Wall Ride set up was in full effect with positive feedback coming from all sides, translating into an increasing level of riding and range of tricks throughout the day. Particularly noticeable was the riding level from the Women as they worked through their individual bag of tricks and upped the tech rail tricks.
The main kicker line proved more challenging in the testing conditions, with rider feedback employed to make minor adjustment over the course of the day. “The rail set up is all-time,” said Sebastien Toutant shortly after the riders meeting, “The main kicker is really technical this year, quite a bit of compression and a lot of pop right now. We’ve been talking to the shapers and they have been fine tuning it for us over the day and are doing a final re-tune tonight. That’s what’s good about this event, they totally listen to our feedback.”
The shaping crew are already out there addressing the minor adjustment asked for by the riders. The First Round of Men’s Qualifications are set to start at 09:00 tomorrow morning, with all three heats scheduled to be completed over the course of the day.Mother nature looks as if she is going to celebrate the O’Neill Evolution by bringing another fresh layer of white gold with 40cm’s of snow forecast to arrive in Davos in the late afternoon – perfect for the imminent arrival of freeride legend, Jeremy Jones.”It might be that the O’Neill Evolution turns into an epic day of powder riding tomorrow,” said Event Director, Bernhard Ritzer, “I don’t see anybody complaining about that!”