When: 7-9th November
Where: Atomic Superpark Dachstein
After some unfortunate weather conditions that pushed the Slopestyle competition from Saturday to Sunday, riders who made their way to the Dachstein Glacier in Austria for the Swatch TTR 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam could not have asked for a better day. On a perfectly shaped park under bright, bluebird skies, Norwegian rider Andreas Wiig stood tallest on the podium after his first place finish as Swiss rider Stephan Maurer inched closer to the Tour lead with a 10th place finish that earned him TTR World No. 2.
A record number of fans made it out on Sunday, despite the previous night’s festivities, for a sick competition that lived up to its sterling reputation. The improved conditions allowed riders to hit the second big kicker that hadn’t been accessible in the qualification rounds and set things up for an epic final that saw Chris Sörman climbing into World No. 6 and Ville Uotila making his up in the TTR Top 10 into World No. 9.
Andreas Wiig, who barely made it through qualifications, stepped his game for the finals, laying down a switch BS 9, a FS 10, and a BS Rodeo 9 – his best run of three in a format that only counts a rider’s best two runs and frowns upon repetition. Wiig was followed by the young, stylish Belgian rider Seppe Smits in second and Metevz Petek of Slovenia in third.
Stephan Maurer, who has already posted four Top 10 results in the Southern Hemisphere and recently placed 3rd at the Swatch TTR 3Star Burton Stomp-It in Italy was stoked on his move in the TTR Rankings: “It feels awesome! I hope to keep a spot in the TTR Top 10 but that will be a challenge when more riders get more results during the season."
In the women’s field, the young female powerhouse Sarka Pancochova certainly proved she’s been working hard to expand her impressive bag of tricks, busting out a switch BS 180 and a BS 7 followed by a FS 7 to claim 1st place and earn her a spot just outside the TTR Top 20. In second came Silvia Mittermüller, with Enni Rukajarvi rounding out the women’s Top 3.
“It was a great event with super kickers," said Pancochova after her win. “I am really stoked with my top finish and the points this early in the season."
On top of the fierce action from the first Northern Hemisphere event on the Tour, the Pleasure Jam also offered up a 3-Week surf trip to Bali to the rider with the best trick. To spice it up, all the riders from the event were given the opportunity to decide who would be packing his surfboard, and in the end it was Eero Ettala (FIN) who claimed the best trick with an insane Switch Double Backie.
If the Swatch TTR 4Star Horsefeathers Pleasure Jam is any sign of things to come, we’re in for a sick season of epic competitions and shredding. While most riders would now be looking to the Great White North for the next event on the Tour, due to the unfortunate cancellation of the 6Star Honda Session at Vail, the Swatch TTR 5Star Burton Canadian Open has been moved from December to February 2nd – 8th, 2009, ensuring great snow conditions and attendance by the best riders in the world.