When: Sun 1st of March 2009
Where: Alts Bandai, Japan
GULDEMOND TAKES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT 5STAR NISSAN XTRAIL
ASIAN OPEN PARKSTYLE Alts Bandai – February 28th, 2009: The 5Star Nissan X-Trail Asian Open in Alts Bandai, Japan, saw riders going head to head today in one of the last remaining Slopestyle contests of the season. Under blue skies, Chas Guldemond (USA) and Chanelle Sladics (USA) took out the respective titles, each earning 850 Swatch TTR ranking points and $15000 USD. Guldemond’s win helps him maintain his World No.2 position with Charles Reid (CAN) coming second, and moving into World No.6. Jamie Anderson came in second also extending her Tour lead. Despite Japan’s unusual lack of snow, the shaping crew at Alts Bandai had constructed a sick course which brought out the best in every participating rider. It was comprised of a street style down rail, two perfect kickers and a box, to a flat down box. The three run format gave riders a chance to mix it up and ensured the level of riding progressed steadily throughout the day.
Chanelle Sladics rode solidly all day and snatched victory in her final run, stomping a FS Boardslide to Fakie, followed by a massive Cab 5 Mute to FS 5 Indy, to FS Tailslide to Fakie. In doing so she earned her first ever Swatch TTR victory and moved into World No.24. "I made the first place. That feels amazing. I will definitely be working my way up on the TTR and I think that will help", she said. In the men’s competition, Chas Guldemond asserted his Slopestyle prowess. Starting off with a Nosepress 270, to a Cab 9 Melon, followed by a BS 12 to Boardslide 270 out. “It feels great - I am so stoked to be out here in Japan and to be surrounded by all these good people. I will be back here next year for the X-Trail Jam and Asian Open - count on it", said Chas. Despite not riding in this event, Piiroinen (FIN) maintains his Swatch TTR World No.1 spot with Guldemond still following close behind in World No.2. Following him in second place was Charles Reid, who stomped his Doublecork 1080 in the last run, moving up to World No.6. “I am gonna try to keep it until US Open. I will work hard for the Top 5 spot", he said. The podium was rounded out by Fredrik Evensen (NOR). Mason Aguirre (USA), who finished today’s finals in 12th has now moved up into World No.9 and will be looking to maintain this momentum in tomorrow’s Halfpipe contest.
HALFPIPE CONTEST Alts Bandai – March 1st, 2009: The Nissan X-Trail Asian Open 5Star Halfpipe contest today saw riders make desperate attempts to claw their way up the ranking. Again 850 points and $15 000 USD were on offer, inspiring everyone to go for broke. American rider, Chas Guldemond surprised everyone and took his second win in two days, further extending his Swatch TTR World No.2 position. He was followed by Markus Malin (FIN) in second place with Hiroki Suwa (JAP) coming in third. Kelly Clark (USA) came in first for the ladies, moving into World No.8. She was followed by Zhifeng Sun (CHN) in second, with Haruna Matsomoto (JAP) rounding out the podium in third.
The three run format in the finals allowed the riders to find their feet and bring the action to the Halfpipe. Again the sun was shining through the clouds which brought out a big crowd to watch the drama unfold. Chas Guldemond was looking in form all throughout the day and went on to take out his first ever Halfpipe title. His determination was evident as he stomped a huge run consisting of a gigantic Melancolin, to McTwist, followed by a FS 7 Melon, to Haakon 10, finished off with an Alley Oop Michael Chuck. “It is a great day. The crowd is closing in on me. I did not expect that – It is unbelievable, It is the first time I am ever on the podium in the Halfpipe as well", said an excited Guldemond.
Kelly Clark has cemented her reputation as the current undisputed Queen of the Halfpipe. She displayed effortless style and amplitude from the get go and cruised to victory by putting down a huge FS Air, followed by a BS 5 Indy, to BS 7 Tail, to Cab 7 and an FS 5, finishing with a stylish Method. “I had a great day and I am very happy with my result here today. It's good for the BGO series and the TTR", she said. The Asian girls really showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years with Zhifeng Sun and Haruna Matsomoto both executing runs that nearly grabbed victory from Kelly. Silvia Mittermueller (GER) did not qualify for the Halfpipe finals today, however, she has climbed to World No.2 on the Swatch TTR ranking, narrowly ahead of Jordi Karlinski (USA), who sits in World No.3. “I am so stoked to be in World No. 2. That means a lot to me", says Mittermueller.
Just some events now remain before the Tour defining 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam and Burton U.S Open. It is now the time for riders to step up for their chance to move into the upper echelons of the TTR World Rankings as a finish in the Swatch TTR Top 5 and Top 3 for women draws international prestige and guarantees a portion of the $200 000 USD prize purse. It also ensures invitations to major 5 and 6Star events next season. Next up, the Tour heads to the U.S. where the men will face off in Park City, USA, March 7th, 2009 for the 5Star Intelligent Design. The event could make or break the season of many riders so make sure you stay tuned to www.ttrworldtour.com
(All photos credit (c) Yoshito)