It’snowheaven – Fresh Off The Powder – By Jess Softley

Last week, The Brits smashed it in its latest resting place of Tignes, definitely filling the boots of its larger, fellow competition, the Winter XGames, which took place the week before. Drawing competitors, new and old as well as an array of British Olympians.

With riders popping and jibbing left, right and centre, spectators saw just how good our British riders were as they tackled the amazing terrain and snow parks that Tignes had to offer.

Kickstarting the week was the Snowboard and Ski cross Championships and with poor weather conditions, the riders were up against nature itself as they battled through the downpour of snow. But despite this, The Brits course team were well prepared and still managed to pull a killer course out of the bag, much to the appreciation of 1st place podium winners, skiers Emily Sarsfield and Ed Drake, and snowboarders James Foster and Masie Potter.

Despite being the hot favourite in the women’s Skiercross, GB team member and World Cup competitor Emily Sarsfield admitted to being nervous coming back into The Brits but held her nerve to take first place.

Ed Drake’s first appearance at The Brits after changing his style from Apline to Skiercross netted him first place and admitted he was delighted not just with his success but also the camaraderie and support for the event.

Whilst riders were throwing down some storming runs in the skier and boardercross, skiers, Chris McCormick and Katie Summerhayes and snowboarders, Andy Nudds and Becky Menday were shredding and jibbing on the Bangers and Cash course. This event focuses purely on rail riding and showcases style and innovation.

Being one of the youngest podium winners, McCormick wasn’t phased by the older and more experienced skiers and took on the competition with a ‘bang’ taking home the ‘cash’!

As for Summerhayes, well this wouldn’t be the last time she’d stand on The Brits podium, as she threw herself into almost every event! Brits veteran Andy Nudds pulled off a steezy run, taking the men’s Bangers and Cash boarding event. Whilst Becky Menday also nailed her run to secure the women’s title.

The weather conditions bated giving the freeski slopestyle, a blue sky event. However, the snowboarding slopestyle, the following day wasn’t so lucky as they were met by heavy snowfall again.

Julian Ball and Madi Rowlands bathed in the sun as they took their titles for the sking slopestyle and despite the poor conditions, Sam Turnall and Katie Blundell pulled off fantastically stylish runs in the snowboarding slopestyle.

The final event for both disciplines was the halfpipe which was held on the same pipe as the XGames Superpipe event. It’s event seemed to draw in the big names with Ben Kilner taking the men’s boarding event with enormous elevation out off the 22ft pipe and stylish 720s and Haakon flip more than enough to beat the likes of Dan Wakeham into second place.

Young Halifax boarder, Katie Ormerod pulled off a near faultless run to beat Olympian Kate foster and take first place. The skiing halfpipe was equally as competitive with Murray Buchan taking the men’s and Em Lonsdale taking the women’s.

Despite the heavy snowfall, The Brits week was a resounding success, with the decision to move from Laax to Tignes seen by virtually all as a massive improvement. With the young talent on show, the future of British snow sport is definitely a bright one.

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