Matieu Crepel Invitational

February 7th to 9th 2008, at Barèges –Tourmalet Pyrenees

Three star TTR event at Ayré Forest ski-jumping hill

Double World Snowboarding Champion in 2007, TTR World Champion in 2006 and FIS World Cup Winner in 2005, Mathieu Crépel’s list of achievements is unequalled in the world of International snowboarding.

For the first time, the local star has invited some of the best freestylers in the business to compete in the first TTR world championship event to be held in the Pyrenees.

The resort of Barèges and its famous ski-jumping hill in the Ayré Forest, fully renovated for the occasion, will host this slope-style from February 7th to 9th 2008 with Mathieu Crépel, Travis Rice, Hampus Mossesson and others.

The MC Invitational, the first TTR event ever in the Pyrenees

The 36 International events on the famed Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour, founded by Norwegian legend Terje Haakonsen, now include the MC Invitational, a new slopestyle competition created by Mathieu Crépel and sponsored by Quiksilver. It’s a three star event, with a prize of €10,000 for the taking.

Mathieu Crépel has invited 20 International pro snowboarders to take part.

A ski-jump disguised as a big air

The event is a real one-off, with Mathieu Crépel having designed his slopestyle course (with a range of different terrain features) around an old ski-jumping hill in the  Ayré Forest. Originally built back in 1936 in the Tourmalet ski area, the ramp is set to see action once again as it’s transformed into a fantastic big air jump, with expert riders speeding down the huge 50-meter ramp and flying for up to 40 meters.

The MC trick list, simplicity itself

For the TTR’s debut in the Pyrenees, Mathieu Crépel has opted for a highly original contest format – the MC trick list. The 20 competitors will each nominate their favorite tricks, and the jury will draw five at random to create a set trick list, to be performed by all the competitors during the event’s preliminary phase. The set format is easier to understand for spectators, and will also give the riders a chance to compare styles as they perform identical moves. Three riders will qualify for the final, contested in best trick format, where they will be judged according to style, air and originality.

What a wonderful world…

French snowboarding idol Mathieu Crépel will be joined in Barèges by some of the brightest stars on the International freestyle circuit, such as Travis Rice. The rider from Jackson Hole (Wyoming, USA) has an impressive CV, that includes back-to-back victories in the Nippon Open (a six star TTR event) in 2006 and 2007. Another of the discipline’s stars, the Finn Markku Koski, bronze medalist in the Half Pipe at the last Olympics, is also set to take part, as is the Swedish Hampus Mossesson, winner of the Red Bull Open in China in 2007 and the X-Box Big Day Out in 2006. Last but not least, Mathieu Crépel has invited Arthur Longo, a talented young snowboarder from the Les 2 Alpes resort whom he recently sponsored, with some success, as the youngster was voted “Star of the Year” at the 2007 Etoiles du Sport event in La Plagne.

The other riders expected to attend include Freddy Austbo (Sweden), Gary Zebrowski (France), Martin Cernik (Czech Republic), Jakob Wilhelmson (Sweden), Markus Keller (Switzerland), Sylvain Bourbousson (France), Morgan Lefaucheur (France), Thomas Harstaad (Norway), Tonton Holland (Switzerland), Darius Heristchian (Switzerland), Tyler Chorlton (UK), Gérôme Mathieu (France), Dimitri Biau (France) and Emeric Front (France).

Home is where the heart is

Despite having achieved so much at the relatively young age of 23, Mathieu Crépel remains firmly committed to his Pyrenees roots. For several years now, Mathieu has worked tirelessly to promote local freeriding and freestyling hotspots. Mathieu Crépel will be hosting the MC Invitational in his backyard, a unique forest location in the Tourmalet ski area, in a nature reserve that is home to the Capercaillie, a giant moorland bird. The whole event has been carefully designed to protect the natural beauty of the site, with special measures to manage transport, energy and waste. Tribute will be paid to the intrepid skiers who, for more than 70 years, have jumped on this hill, which was Olympic-size in its time and is just a snowball’s throw from the prestigious Annie Famose piste. The last of the ski-jumpers will be joined by the snowboarders for a special “Revival” evening to be held on Friday, February 8th, with stories, memories, an exhibition of old photos, plus some local folklore and traditional events.

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