The Stage is Set for the Oakley and Shaun White present Air + Style Beijing 2012
Tonight the Oakley and Shaun White present Air + Style Beijing competitors gathered in the world renowned Bird’s Nest Stadium for the Rider’s Draw. Anxiously awaiting their fate, riders picked names one by one to determine the line up from tomorrow’s opening round.
Defending champion Ulrik Badertscher drew fellow Norwegian Torgeir Bergrem for his first round heat. Likewise, American riders, Sage Kotsenburg and Chas Guldemond, will also be trying to eliminate a fellow countryman in the first round. Starting the head-to-head heats in the opening round, is an update to the format this year, which will make for an even more exciting show tomorrow night.
“I drew Mathias Weisenbacher,” said Mark McMorris. “That means it’s going to be a tough first heat, but that would be the case across the board. That’s just how it goes when there is such a stacked field.”
And if today’s practice session was anything to judge by, McMorris couldn’t be more right. All of the competitors looked in fine form, refining old favorites and giving some newer tricks a go on the massive ramp as though they had been riding it for weeks. Unfortunately, there has been one competition ending injury. Werner Stock of Austria took a hard hit on the landing today and was forced to withdraw from the event.
“It always sucks when you see a rider go down,” continued McMorris. “But the reality is that every time you push harder and go bigger, you’re taking greater risks and sometimes it doesn’t work out in your favor.”
We wish Werner a speedy recovery and best of luck to the rest of the competitors for tomorrow’s main event! Don’t forget you can tune into the LIVE webcast Dec. 8 at 12:30 PM CET from http://oak.ly/TF8RSw.
Complete Rider’s Draw:
Peetu Piiroinen FIN vs. - bye -
Sage Kotsenburg USA vs. Chas Guldermond USA
Petja Piiroinen FIN vs. Clemens Schattschneider AUT
Antoine Truchon CAN vs. Sven Thorgren NOR
Mark McMorris CAN vs. Mathias Weisenbacher AUT
Seppe Smits BEL vs. Eric Beauchemin CAN
Stale Sandbech NOR vs. Pat Burgener SUI
Sebastien Toutant CAN vs. Victor de la Rue FRA
Roope Tonteri FIN vs. Maxence Parrot CAN
- bye - vs. Yuki Kadono JPN
Marko Grilic SLO vs. Emil Ulsletten NOR
Ulrik Badertscher NOR vs. Torgeir Bergrem NOR