lts Bandai, Japan - February 17th, 2009: With only a short time left to the Swatch TTR Tour Champion crowning at the 6Star Burton US Open and Roxy Chicken Jam, the race is on. The upcoming 5Star Nissan X-trail Asian Open from February 24th – March 3rd in Alts Bandai, Japan, presents riders with a great chance to climb the world ranking. Countless numbers of top ranked snowboarders including Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Kevin Pearce (USA), and Jamie Anderson (USA) will be in attendance, all of them eager to pull out their best tricks and go for the Halfpipe and Slopestyle titles and take home two lots of 850 TTR ranking points and some of the $125 000 USD prize purse. 07/08 Swatch TTR Tour Champion, Jamie Anderson (USA), is confirmed and will be keen to further extend her lead over the pack. However, current World No. 6 Sina Candrian (SUI) and World No. 3 Lisa Wiik (NOR) are both after Jamie and locked in a battle for the World No. 2. Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas (NOR), Kelly Clark (USA) and Spencer O’Brien (CAN) could all enter the TTR Top 10, whilst U.S. riders Kimmy Fasani and Elizabeth Beerman could find themselves in TTR Top 20. One rider who still has to collect her share of TTR points this season is former Tour Champion, Torah Bright (AUS). Her previous victories in the Halfpipe contest in Asia in 2007 and 2008 may give her the necessary confidence to collect two good results and, thus, to move into the TTR Top 20.
On the men’s side of things, it is impossible to exactly pinpoint what will happen in the male ranking with so many Swatch TTR contests going down concurrently around the world. However, it can surely be said that many riders out of the TTR Top 10 will travel to Asia to collect crucially important last points before the final showdown at the US Open in March. Depending on the outcome of the 6Star Oakley Arctic Challenge on Saturday, February 21st, Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) will be defending his World No.1 spot. However, competition is fierce as Kevin Pearce (USA), who has a good chance of moving up to the TTR Top 5 with his possible third victory in Oslo, will make a final charge for the Tour Champion Title in Asia. In his way stands Risto Mattila, who will be focussed on staying in the TTR Top 3. Also Antti Autti (FIN) may find himself defending a Top 5 position after the Oakley Arctic Challenge. With the Tour Champion crowning events in sight, things are sure to tense up as riders fight to claim their part of the total Swatch TTR Tour prize money payout of over $200,000 USD.