After some intense top tier riding and competition at the 6Star Burton European Open and the 6Star O’Neill Evolution in Europe, the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour is set to mix things up Canadian style, heading northwest to Calgary, Alberta for the 5Star Burton Canadian Open.
Taking place at the Canada Olympic Park, the two format, Slopestyle and Halfpipe competition offers up a $50 000 USD prize purse and two batches of 850 TTR Ranking Points to those brave and strong enough to face the bitter Canadian cold and fight their way to the podium.
The highly anticipated contest features a familiar open format, allowing talented local, amateur and determined pro riders to compete against the top ranked snowboarders in the world. With a qualification list that boasts well over 100 riders there is no doubt we’ll see some huge upsets and heated battles at the inaugural event. Expect big performances from riders like local Jed Anderson (CAN), Drew Brighton (USA), Elias Elhardt (GER), Justin Lamareux (CAN), Arthur Longo (FRA), and Charmaine Ironside (CAN).
The one to look out for is current female Swatch TTR World No. 10 Lisa Wiik (NOR) who recently won the Slopestyle title at the 6Star Burton European Open. Wiik has her work cut out for her, needing to push through the preliminary rounds and a tough field of world-class female riders. Wiik however, will no doubt carry her momentum from Laax in order to move up in the women’s TTR Top 10 and claim back-to-back Slopestyle titles. Similarly, if BEO pipe champion Kelly Clark (USA) makes an appearance in Calgary we just might see two women walk away with two consecutive titles.
In terms of the Swatch TTR Rankings, for the men it’s too early to tell. In the middle of a boisterous season, anything can happen with two major TTR events going down just days before, the 5Star Red Bull Snowscrapers and the 6Star Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck. And with many of the TTR Top 10 competing in both the Canadian Open Halfpipe and Slopestyle, it’s almost impossible to say who will move where in the rankings. But we can tell you that it’s going to be tight so expect some huge ranking changes in the next couple weeks. Like all the key 5 and 6 Star events on the Tour you can bet many of the big name riders will likely make an appearance in Calgary such as current TTR World No. 2 Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), TTR World No. 7 Charles Reid (CAN) and TTR World No. 9 Sebastian Toutant (CAN).
Be sure to log on to ttrworldtour.com to check out all the daily news, updated men’s and women’s rankings, video highlights, rider profiles and behind-the-scenes blogs as the Swatch TTR Tour continues its trek around the world. The 5Star Burton Canadian Open will also be webast live on go211.com allowing you to catch all the spills and thrills of what is sure to be the one of the greatest displays of snowboard competition that Canada has ever seen.
Around the same time a truckload of more Swatch TTR action takes place around the corner: February 6th – 7th 2009, the rookies will take it to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada for the 3Star Salomon Snowboards Backyard Bang and February 7th – 8th, 2009 the 3Star Burton AM Series rolls on in Park City, Utah, USA.