Today was the first day of training for the riders already present at the Billabong World Jr Pro in Leysin.
Serious business starts tomorrow with the qualifications: 44 guys and 16 girls will freestyle fight for a place in saturday’s finals.
Among the favorites for the title of World Junior Champ is current 2sd in the TTR ratings, Russian Iouri Podladtchikov. With a podium finish here he could regain the lead from American Kevin Pearce.
But he’ll face some serious competition as 3 winners of the previous Billabong Jr Pro are among the field of invited riders: Pekka Ruokanen, from Finland is the title holder, German rider Elias Ehlardt who won in 2005 and the Swede Michael Lundmark.
Iouri will also have to look out for Arthur Longo and Manuel Pietropoli who will be eager to score big in Leysin after their good runs during the Oakley Artic Challenge, and Petja Piiroinen winner of the rookie contest at the last BEO.

Anyway we asked a couple of riders – Wouter De Lange and Stephanie Reynders – today what their opinion was about the slope-style run. Here’s what they had to say.