Podladtchikov wins Evolution Halfpipe 2010 - With Video!

Anna Langer Anna Langer

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All week a kid was running around the event site searching for the rider everybody only calls "The Legend". Even though he didn't make it to the top 10 Gian Simmen proved he isn't called that for nothing.

While the Scandis clearly had their foot, or better board, down on the slopestyle qualification yesterday, this day belonged to the cheese fondue specialists stirring up their home country: Markus Keller bagged the Highest Air with a whopping 4.2m and Iouri ‘Ipod’ Podlatchikov won the contest with the high score of the week of 91.33 points.

In the semifinals the 16 qualifiers encountered the 16 invited riders to battle out who spins the finest and stomps the cleanest. Although this year’s event motto is ‘Running with Gravitiy’, Keller and Swiss pipe legend Gian Simmen seemed to have their own special contract with the force that holds most of us down like lead and flew 3 to 4 meters over the coping of the pipe – which is almost 7 meters deep itself. 15 years old Masakaze Yoshida (JAP) probably doesn’t have the weight to send his little body up in those spheres, but already throwing down 9s and 7s like the big ones leaves us curious what he might be able to with a little more experience (and food). With a massive FS 10 to Cab 10 combination by Fredrik ‘Shredrik’ Austbo (NOR) was in the lead for quite a while, until Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) decided to go for some creativity points a combination entirely new to the event so far, including a BS 7 rodeo as well as an Switch Alley Oop 5.

The east is clearly rising - clear proof was Kosuke Hosokawa, the second Japanese rider in the finals today who pulled some huge FS 10s
The east is clearly rising - clear proof was Kosuke Hosokawa, the second Japanese rider in the finals today who pulled some huge FS 10s

Clearly not caring about the fierce discussion whether Double Corks should be banned from the Olympics for being to risky, the riders were throwing them in all directions all day. Some of hugest came from Finnish rider Ilka-Emeli Laari, who had already surprised the speaker with them yesterday, “just because no body else did them” as he stated himself. And also British pipe veteran Dan Wakeham managed something nobody else had done so far and almost crashed into one of the super expensive live cast cameras, after landing on the deck of the pipe coming out of a Crippler to McTwist combination and crashing his bindings with this. Taken into account that riders like Marko Grilc (SLO), Elias Elhardt (GER) and Kim Rune Hansen (NOR) are more at home at straight jumps and slopestyle, although they didn’t make it to the finals they still nailed some really solid runs and god knows what we’re to expect from them in their home discipline tomorrow.

Keller sending it to outer space - mind you this is only a photo of his standard amplitude...
Keller sending it to outer space - mind you this is only a photo of his standard amplitude...

Maybe it was the fact that for the 5th day in a row the sun gave its best for Davos and the Bolgen beneath the Jakobshorn, or maybe the 120 kids from the local elementary school that lined the pipe with lots of other spectators, but all riders stepped it up again in the finals, most of all Ipod and Keller. With an amazing first run, including a massive 9 combo and McTwist to Alley Oop Keller went in lead and the 4.2 m FS air in his second secured him the Highest Air extra prize. Pronouncing the words ‘That should be enough’ might have jinxed it though, because after messing the first two runs, Ipod absolutely nailed his third with a super smooth combination of FS 5, BS 9 and a huge Cab Double Cork 10. Funnily he wasn’t aware at all that this secured him the win and  angrily threw his stuff away at the bottom of the pipe. Although Peetu, who his still had his last run to trump him, was whirling through the air like a little Finnish whirly bird so much the speaker couldn’t even follow to name his tricks, he bailed on the last hit and so it was only 3rd for him in the end. But he surely still has something in his bag for the slopestlye tomorrow, where he might be able to not only get the pole position back he grew used to over the last season but maybe also pay Iouri back for the massive champagne shower he got.

We really didn't see why Ipod got so angry after sticking one of the cleanest Double Corks of the entire contest - do you?
We really didn't see why Ipod got so angry after sticking one of the cleanest Double Corks of the entire contest - do you?

With more ice sculptures being scraped, sawn and washed out of or into the set up right now, the slopestyle finals tomorrow will be a sight for sore eyes and eager snowboard fans as well.

- Anna Langer

All Results

1 Iouri Podladtchikov SUI 91.33

2 Markus Keller SUI 88.83

3 Peetu Piiroinen FIN 84.83

4 Markus Malin FIN 82.00

5 Ilkka-Eemeli Laari FIN 80.83

6 Christian Haller SUI 80.50

7 Stale Sandbech NOR 80.17

8 Masakaze Yoshida JPN 80.00

9 Fredrik Austbo NOR 76.67

10 Kosuke Hosokawa JPN 73.67

11 Gian Simmen SUI 72.50

12 Roger Kleivdal NOR 70.67

13 Risto Mattila FIN 67.33

14 Per Iver Grimsrud NOR 62.67

15 Seppe Smits BEL 60.50

16 Dan Wakeham GBR 56.67

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