Rider field for the Honda Sessions in Vail
VAIL The mens and womens competitor fields for the 2007 Honda Session invitational snowboard events are set as 48 men and 21 women will descend on Vails Golden Peak January 11-14 to battle it out under the lights for Steel & Sky Rails and Bud Light Slopestyle titles.
Based on the selection system introduced last winter, the top five finishers in both Rails and Slopestyle receive automatic invitations, with the remainder of the field comprised of industry nominations and wildcard selections.Automatic qualifiers from 2006 will feature some of the top names in the sport, including Andreas Wiig, Travis Rice, Chad Otterstrom, Kevin Pearce, Pat Milbury and T.J. Schneider.The womens Rails automatics will feature, Laura Hadar, Molly Aguirre, Marie-France Roy, Chanelle Sladics, Ashley Thornton and Spencer OBrien.One name currently missing from the acceptance list is four-time Honda Session champion and Olympic gold medalist Shaun White. The Flying Tomato may be forced to skip the 2007 event due to prior schedule commitments that have grown out of his enhanced celebrity status from Torino.While we will most certainly miss Shaun if he is unable to be here, explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, we certainly understand that he has quite a few more demands on his time because of the gold medal. We feel very fortunate to be one of the few events over the past four years to have had Shaun compete and he has said on numerous occasions that the Honda Session is one of his favorite events. Even if Shaun is unable to attend this year, added Folz, the 2007 Honda Session will still feature the deepest talent field for a Slopestyle contest to date in North America. Two of Whites Torino teammates will be in Vail as Danny Kass and Mason Aguirre will also headline the mens field, along with Germanys David Benedek. Kass collected the silver medal in Half Pipe, while Aguirre just missed the American medal hat trick with his fourth place finish.Norways Wiig, runnerup in last years Bud Light Slopestyle competition, almost lifted the crown from Whites head, coming up just short of executing a quartet of 1080s (3 complete revolutions in the air) on his final run. Rice, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, will be fresh off his victory at the beginning of December in Munichs Air & Style competition, while Breckenridge rider Chad Otterstrom has been consistently in the money since the inception of the Honda Session.On the ladies side of the ledger, 2006 Rails champ Hadar of Utah will return to defend her title, but will most certainly be pushed for the top step of the podium by Aguirre and Leanne Pelosi. The individual titles, especially on the mens side, will be up for grabs, continued Folz, which should make for some exciting competition, both in Rails and Slopestyle. The 2007 Honda Session will get underway Friday evening, January 12, with the Steel & Sky Mens and Womens Rails competitions, while the Mens Bud Light Slopestyle event is slated for Saturday evening, January 13. The Sunday Session free pro clinic and public rails competition will bring the Honda Session full circle on Sunday, January 14. Men Slopestyle Qualifiers 2006Women Rail Qualifiers1 – Andreas Wiig1 – Laura Hadar2 – Travis Rice2 – Molly Aguirre3 – Chad Otterstrom3 – Marie-France Roy4 – Kevin Pearce4 – Chanelle Sladics5 – Ashley Thornton 5 Spencer OBrienMen Rail Qualifiers 20061 – Travis Rice Izumi Amaike 2 – Pat Milbery Jamie Anderson3 – TJ Schneider Laurie Currier4 – Chad Otterstrom Kimmy Fasani4 – Kevin Pearce Ellery Hollingsworth Anne-Flore MarxerMason Aguirre Leanne Pelosi Scotty Arnold Colleen Quigley David Benedek Mary SallahDan BrisseAmber StackhouseWyatt Caldwell Maribeth SwetkoffJonas Carlson Gabi Viteri Mike Casanova Alexis WaiteYale CousinoJeff CormackWyatt CaldwellDustin Craven Danny DavisJosh DirksonMichael GoldschmidtMarco GrilcChas GuldemondTorstein HorgmoTim HumphreysJohn JacksonDanny KassJacob Koia Markku KoskiHans KristianScotty LagoColin LangloisJuuso Laivisto
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