ATOMIC athlete Elias Ambühl kick-started his season in superb fashion in front of an ecstatic home crowd by taking his first gold medal at freestyle.ch in Zurich, Switzerland. Meanwhile fellow ATOMIC athletes Jossi Wells and Andreas Håtveit finished third and fourth respectively.
For the freeskiing world, Freestyle.ch marks the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season, and attracts the biggest names in the sport. The crowds that gather on the shores of Lake Zurich are privileged to witness everything that the top athletes have been learning over the long summer, and judging by the display last weekend they have been working hard.
After a superb qualifier on Saturday, everyone was filled with anticipation by the prospect of the semi-finals early on Sunday afternoon. Riders were given 45 minutes to impress the judges, and had to perform one style trick and one technical trick. All of the ATOMIC athletes seemed to hit their form at the right moment, and Andreas Håtveit immediately threw down the gauntlet with his new ‘funky flip’, a switch 180° to barrel role. By following this with a double cork 1080° mute to octo grab his place in the final was all but secure. Fellow ATOMIC athlete Jossi Wells was flawless and stomped his switch double flatspin 1080° and zero spin to ensure his place in the final four. Elias Ambühl meanwhile left himself with a little work to do by crashing his first attempts at a double cork 1440°, but eventually he got the trick nailed, and with his switch 540° japan-nose grab made the cut, along with fellow Swiss, Kai Mahler. With three of the four final spots filled by ATOMIC athletes things were looking good.
With two runs only, ATOMIC athlete Elias Ambühl started the final with a great double cork 1440° high mute. The other riders felt the pressure and all had difficulties. On the second round it was a different story with Elias crashing an attempted double cork 1620°, leaving himself a nervous wait for the other results. Jossi Wells put down his switch double flatspin 1080° and it looked like it could be an all ATOMIC podium when Andreas landed his double cork 1080°, but Swiss rider Kai Mahler used his home advantage and landed his switch double misty 1260°. After what seemed a lifetime the judges announced the result. It was an ecstatic Elias Ambühl at the top of the podium followed by Kai Mahler, then Jossi Wells, and Andreas Håtveit in fourth. A start to the season that really couldn’t have been much better for the ATOMIC family!