Clark and Kazu Win US Open Halfpipe - Onboard Magazine

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Clark and Kazu Win US Open Halfpipe

Snowboarding is all about progression. And progress it did again this Saturday, at the Burton US Open pipe finals: The contest level was so high that Shaun White acted like a “pussy” and did not compete at all – at least according to Danny Davis, who had been on the phone over the PA system along with fellow injured rider Kevin Pearce. And Peetu Piiroinen will bring home quite some smuckaroos from this weekend: He was crowned TTR Champion, BGOS Champion and won the US Open Best Trick award.

Well, here’s all the fine print from Saturday’s event as seen from the TTR point of view.

The TTR Men's Top 5 as seen by Laura Austin

It was another superb day in Stratton, Vermont for the 6Star Burton US Open halfpipe finals. The pipe was in perfect shape, the rider list was full of talent and the riding level was high making for some intense competition. Kazuhiro “Kazu” Kokubo (JPN) was the men’s halfpipe victor of the day and Kelly Clark (USA) took the win in the women’s competition. After Saturday’s pipe finals wrapped up, Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) was officially crowned Swatch TTR World Champion and the men’s 2009/2010 TTR Top 5 is now set in stone.

Kelly Clark on her way to the 2010 US Open title. Photo: Shem Roose.

The Last Major Pipe Event For The Men, One More To Go For The Women
It was a heated battle in the halfpipe today with some amazing riding by both the men and the women. The women dropped into the pipe first and Kelly Clark was the definite standout with her signature smooth style and high amplitude. She was able to seal her fourth US Open halfpipe victory with a run that included a huge frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 720, Cab 720 mute and ended with a frontside corked 900. It was a close call for the second and third place finishers with Kaitlyn Farrington (USA) taking the second position and Ellery Hollingsworth (USA) in third.

The men’s competition was jam packed full of action with Japanese style master, Kazu Kokubo, putting together an amazing winning run consisting of a frontside 900 melon, chicken wing McTwist, frontside 1080, Cab 1080 and a frontside double cork 1080. Louie Vito (USA) came in a very close second place throwing three consecutive double corks in his first run. And, Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) also put on quite the display with a run that included a Cab 1080 double cork and a 1260 double cork.

Peetu Piiroinen with the TTR trophy. Photo: Laura Austin

The Swatch TTR World Tour Top 5 Finalists
Peetu Piiroinen took the top spot on the Swatch TTR Tour for the 2009/2010 season and today he officially walked away with his second consecutive TTR World Champion trophy. “This is special. I am the first guy who won the TTR twice” said Piiroinen. “Next year maybe for the third time. It is just incredible.” Not only does he get to bask in the glory of this prestigious title, but he also was awarded with $50,000 USD for his amazing effort throughout the super busy season.

The rest of the TTR Top 5 finalists also walked away with some major cash and incentives. After his third place finish today, Iouri Podladtchikov, secured the World No. 2 position taking $25,000. Markus Malin (FIN) took fourth place in the pipe today which was good enough to bump him into World No. 3 earning him $15,000, young Norwegian rookie Gjermund Braaten didn’t make it to finals in today’s event but, with his arsenal of great results throughout the season, he ended up in World No. 4 and was awarded $11,000. Janne Korpi finished in fifth place today which gave him the World No. 5 spot and is now $9,000 richer. All of these athletes will also receive automatic invites to all major TTR events for the 2010/2011 TTR World Tour Season.

One More Major Tour Stop Forthe Women
With the Burton US Open wrapped up, the women will travel across the U.S. to Mammoth Lakes, California for the 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam, the final major women’s event of the season. Even though she didn’t make it to halfpipe finals today, Finnish newcomer of the season Enni Rukajärvi was able to move into the tour lead overtaking Sina Candrian (SUI) who was bumped down to current World No. 2. Lisa Wiik (NOR) remains in World No. 3, Sarka Pancochova (CZE) stays in World No. 4 and Cilka Sadar (SLO) is sitting in World No. 5. The women’s TTR World Champion title is still wide open for all the ladies mentioned above as they get ready for the final major event of the season.


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