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Hervé Bonnefont wins adidas Winter Slopestyle, the
Author - Planet Talk
Date - 12/15/2006

Wittenburg (sgh) – French rider Hervé Bonnefont won the inaugural adidas Winter Slopestyle at Snow Funpark Wittenburg in Northern Germany last night. In the course of the official opening of Europe’s largest snow sports hall seventy kilometres East of Hamburg, adidas staged the world’s first SMX contest.  Twelve mountain bike freeriders, free skiers and snow scooters put on an amazing show on a brand-new winter sports device called Northlegion SMX. The patented product, a snow bike on three skis with suspension fork, is the overall winner of the ISPO BrandNew Awards 2006 and a natural winter alternative for mountain bikers, BMX and motocross riders in the same way as the snowboard is a winter alternative for skateboarders and surfers.  Many of the pro riders who attended the comp sat on the SMX for the first time ever. After just a few hours of training, they pulled of the same sort of stunning tricks which they nail on their mountain bikes.  “The SMX is a cool thing”, said UK rider Lance McDermott, who tried it for the first time. “It feels like riding a mountain bike. The only thing that is different and a bit difficult in the beginning is braking.”  Since the athletes rode on a brand-new product – they received the first charge delivered to Europe – the comp different from the adidas Summer Slopestyle was divided into three sessions on three different obstacles. The first session was carried out on a 3 meter high drop, the second on a 5 meter long rail, and the third on a massive trick jump. The judging panel consisting of BMX and Snowscoot champion Tibor Simai (Germany), Germany’s top freerider Carlo Dieckmann, free skier and SMX rider Cato Legreid (Norway) and French freeride and dirt jump expert Vincent Saccomani, judged each of the three sessions which made up the final score. 
With a spectacular Tail Whip Superman on the trick jump, French snow scoot rider Hervé Bonnefont claimed the hot seat after the first round. His competitors from eight different nations tried hard to displace him. Fellow countryman Nicolas Pillin nearly pulled off a Double Tail Whip, but failed to land. Norwegian Mads Andre Haugen threw a 360, Austrian Niki Leitner a Backflip Nohand, British Lance McDermot even tried a Superflip (Backflip Superman), but all of them had a shaky landing. Thus Hervé was enthroned on the hot seat until the end. He won the inaugural adidas Winter Slopestyle with a total score of 65.3, followed by Nicolas Pillin (55.9) and Mads Andre Haugen (51.9).  “I am really stoked to be here and to have won the competition”, Hervé said with a big smile. “This weekend was so much fun, to meet all the other riders and to try out a new sport device. And I have never been at an event where the organisers took such great care of all the riders. We even had physiotherapists looking after us. It was great!” Following the adidas Winter Slopestyle in the ice-cold Snow Funpark hall, the After Race Party with Hamburg’s figurehead rock band 4LYN and number one DJane Miss Leema seemed even hotter. The riders and spectators partied until 5 a.m.
Title sponsor adidas was pleased with the world premiere event. “We have always sought for a possibility to extend our freeride activities to the winter”, said Axel Burkhardt, head of Global Sports Marketing adidas Olympic Sports, Cycling and Outdoor and initiator of the adidas Slopestyle in Saalbach Hinterglemm. “When I saw the SMX at the ISPO trade show last winter, I instantly had a vision. I thought if this works, if mountain bikers can easily convert their tricks from bike to SMX, we can have a Slopestyle winter edition. It was a trip to the unknown, but what can I say – the show we have seen tonight after only three days of training on a brand-new sports device was amazing. I take my hat off to all the riders. They gave a great performance and I think we witnessed the cornerstone to a new sport. I can’t wait to see how their SMX skills will have developed in a few months time.”

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