Scotty Lago has taken centre stage once ago with a decisive lead in the TTR World rankings and steps into number 1 spot. Lately Scotty has made a regular attendance to the European contests, he has also found the benefit of riding in not so competitve environments such as the NZ Open... There's nothing wrong with playing tactics, this tour has become highly competitive and having top riders move to less visited events by the top names only leads to a better distribution of quality action and a better tour all round.
Coming back to this weeks highlights, the O'Neill Pro Freestyle in Avoriaz started the preceedings. Due to poor snow conditions the slopestyle had to0 be cancelled but left the best part of the event still intact - the quarterpipe. With a night final it was drama supreme for the local crowd, the return of Norwegian ripper Frederick Austbo, heavy-weight Henning Marthinson and FInnish F2 international Mikka Hast. The French don;t take too kindly to foreigners and this contest was no different local hardcore Arthur Longo at 18 pissed on the competition with an 7.5 metre backside air. Stars in there eyes contestant Louri Podladtchikov of Russia but Swiss resident tweaked an almighty backside 7 Japan putting him in 6th and a long way to go before playing with the big boys.
A real difference in the tour this year has been the female attendance and level of riding throughout the contests so far. Never before has the competition been so great and finally we are starting to see the big names taking part in Worldwide events. But it was no super star at O'Neill Pro Freestlye although incredibly gorgeous all the same (complete bias), Italian heart throb Rita Comi took gold with a storming 4.5 meter backside air with more style than you can shake a stick at. Close behind her was Finnish up and comer Meri Peltonen taking 2nd who rode super well at the BEO not a month ago and Conny Bleicher from Germany taking 3rd.
2000 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic more strong riding was going down at the Chevrolet Grand Prix halfpipe in Batchelor, USA. Steve Fisher put down an unreal run of big staright airs, stylish 5's and 7's both switch and regular, throwing in a front 9 to boot putting him in the top spot over other US legends Louie Vito and Tommy Czeschin. Kelly Clark had the womens in the bag with an impressive amplitude score from the judges, with Elena Hight and Gretchen Bleiler coming in 2nd & 3rd respectively.
It would all be decided on the Sunday in Mt. Bachelor with the famed slopestyle event kicking the Swatch TTR into 6th gear. American Ian Thorley took men's gold with his strong second run of switch heelside rodeo, front 7 and back 7. Tim Humphreys took 2nd place putting Lago in 3rd and therefore No.1 on the TTR World Tour rankings for the 13th week this season. Podladtchikov with his O'Neill Pro Freestyle 6th place puts him back down to No.4, whilst previous leader Antti Autti sits in 2nd spot. Steve Fisher with his decisive win goes into 3rd. That means 50% of the TTR Men's top-10 leader board is American, COME ON EUROPE!!!!
In the girls it was British temptress Jenny jones who stormed to first place beating Americans Jordan Karlinski & Ellery Hollingsworth into 2nd and 3rd spots on home soil. Jamie Anderson leads the TTR Women's ranking with strong results all round in her ninth week at the top.
TTR World Snowboard Tour continues with its next installment with Men’s & Women’s Slopestyle & Halfpipe contests at the TTR FIVE(5)STAR Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open, held in Japan, 20th-25th February.
O’Neill Evolution 07 MEN QUARTERPIPE Top 3
1/ Arthur LONGO (FRA)
2/ Henning MARTHINSEN (NOR)
3/ Jean-Jacques ROUX (FRA)
O’Neill Evolution 07 WOMEN QUARTERPIPE Top 3
1/ Rita Comi (ITA)
2/ Meri Peltonen (FIN)
3/ Conny Bleicher (GER)
Chevrolet Grand Prix 07 MEN HALFPIPE Top 3
1./ Steve Fisher (USA)
2/ Louie Vito (USA)
3/ Tommy Czeschin (USA)
Chevrolet Grand Prix 07 WOMEN HALFPIPE Top 3
1/ Kelly Clark (USA)
2/ Elena Hight (USA)
3/ Gretchen Bleiler (USA)
Chevrolet Grand Prix 07 MEN SLOPESTYLE Top 3
1/ Ian Thorley (USA)
2/ Tim Humphreys (USA)
3/ Scotty LAGO (USA)
Chevrolet Grand Prix 07 WOMEN SLOPESTYLE Top 3
1/ Jenny JONES (GBR)
2/ Jordan Karlinski (USA)
3/ Ellery Hollingsworth (USA)