Ski, snowboard

Jasna Adrenalin 2022

The legendary Slovak freeride race Jasna Adrenalin, which has been an integral part of the highest 4-star Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) series for many years, returned to Chopok after three years of enforced interruption. Moreover, it's been selected for the final battles of the entire series. That's why we could witness an extraordinary spectacle when not only the best riders from the entire FWQ, but also the world's top riders from the more prestigious Freeride World Tour (FWT) series, who dropped out of the FWT finals, gathered in Jasná on March 11-14. This meant that spectators could look forward to a very prestigious race of the world’s elite to qualify for next year’s FWT.

The start line featured names from the top FWT – American Blake Marshall, who narrowly missed qualifying for the FWT finals, and Austrian Valentin Rainer for skier and snowboarder Claire McGregor. Together with 80 other riders, they competed in the following disciplines – snowboard women/men and ski women/men. Both the local spectators and those who watched the online broadcast could cheer on a good number of local “Czechoslovak” riders. The wild card for the Czech Republic went to skier Pavel Božák, who has already finished on the podium once, Olympic snowboarder Šárka Pančochová and two skiers from Slovakia – Jan Tajbos and Martin Babčan.

A sunny weekend, temperatures well below zero and fresh snow cover suggested that we were in for a busy race full of ambitious rides, unique on the demanding Slovak hill. Friday morning started with Czech racer Monika Nováková as a forerunner, who unfortunately just missed qualifying for this race. The wind-hardened snow offered the riders, in their words, enough support and the seemingly icy top was in better shape than expected.

The race kicked off with the women’s snowboard section. The favorite Claire McGregor from New Zealand was judged as the best performer. Her fast and smooth ride with three drops earned her 70 points and in her first start on this hill she dominated the women’s snowboard competition.

The women’s ski section followed, serving up some extraordinary jumps. The best rides came from the French women - Astrid Cheylus and Megane Betend. Megane offered a fast aggressive ride with some navigationally difficult drops. However, on one of the biggest jumps, she lost a bit of control whole landing, which cost her the gold. Astrid Chaylus won the women’s cross-country race with a confident, fast run with several jumps.

The men’s category also kicked off with the snowboarders performing even higher and more challenging jumps on the competition wall. The podium rides of the snowboarders showed the spectators cool performances with some 360s, grabs and even butters. The best ride was by Mexican racer Liam Rivera, who, although he didn’t land one jump perfectly, did show some big drops and two long 360s, for which the judges appreciated with the highest score. Second and third place went to Frenchmen Enzo Nilo and Alix Soria.

Finally, the local spectators could enjoy the royal discipline and especially the home riders in the ski section. Up to this moment, the calm race for the organizers, without injuries and no serious crashes, was disturbed by the very first run of Swiss Alexander Jossen, who failed to navigate the first backflip of the race and fell hard on the edge of the rock. The unfortunate crash, which he survived unscathed, hinted at just how heated a race the spectators would see.

Local rider Jan Tajbos took to the track as the 36th rider. In the beginning, he showed a beautifully ambitious ride and two drops in a row, but he couldn’t handle the third one and fell. The next rider, Simon Perraudin, on the other hand, showed a playful ride in incredibly steep terrain, where he also managed to perform two huge 360s off the rocks, catapulting him into the lead. Marchall Blake, the paper favorite of the race, put in a very challenging ride with a massive extended 360 in steep terrain and a few jumps around, but still fell short of first position.

The local crowd finally got to see it the two “Czechoslovakian” riders. Jan Babčan, who got a wild card at the last minute, unfortunately fell while landing. And so, the only defender of the wild card remained the Czech rider Pavel Božák. He was the only one to perform the biggest backflip of the race in the steep part of the race with good landing in the difficult terrain, earning a big ovation from the local spectators. However, due to his high speed he managed to jump “only” one rock in the last part. In the eyes of the judges, he did not even make the top ten. There was no lack of backflips. In the following run, the young favorite Max Hitzig performed two and one 360 and took second place. By the end of the race, none of the riders could threaten the podium, with Simon Perraudin in first place, Austrian Max Hitzig in second and Swede David Deliv in third.

More detailed information about the race can be found at jasnadrenalin.sk or Facebook. Official photo galeryFWQ and FWT.

You can also find Jasná in our Adrex Places app. The FWT series is covered on Adrex here. Adrex.tv website is full of thematic videos.

 

Full ride of Czech racer Pavel Božák

 
 
Text: Tomáš Koucký
 
Photo: @photomartini, @filipmajercik, @vito_bolti, @jasnaadrenalin

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