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When: Sat 5th of January 2008

Where: Davos, Switzerland

QP winner Kim Rune Hansen (L) and Risto Mattila, stoked.

Davos, January 5, 2008 – It was a night for the Nordics in the quarterpipe at The O’Neill Evolution. Norwegian, Kim Rune Hansen flew to 6.4 meters with his Backside Rodeo 540 Melon Grab, awarding him a winning score of 252 points out of a possible 300.

He lands himself US$15,000 and 1,000 Swatch TTR ranking points. “I didn’t think that I was going to win this. I am super stoked,” he said.

Kim Rune was closely followed by two Finnish riders, Risto Mattila in second place and 19 year old Peetu Piiroinen in third place. Risto Mattila impressed the judges – as well as the throng of 7,000 people lining the quarterpipe at the foot of the Jakobshorn – with a clean travelling McTwist of 4.5 meters. “I am really stoked. I did my best and I couldn’t go any higher,” he said.

Peetu Piiroinen reached a height of 5.4 meters with his Backside 540 which landed him third place on the podium.

Last year’s winner Nicolas Mueller was unfortunate to be out of the top three in this 6 star Swatch TTR event in his home country of Switzerland. He was just one point behind Peetu with his McTwist of 5.6 meters.

Andy Finch on a huge tailgrab.

While the night was full of celebrations, it was not all good news for all of the riders. Straight out of winning the superpipe on Friday night, American rider, Andy Finch moved to the top of the rankings on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour. A victory in the quarterpipe would have put the icing on the cake. But when attempting a Backside Rodeo he hit the coping and withdrew from the rest of the final, ending his competition at this year’s O’Neill Evolution – but still finishing in sixth position. There is no doubt that he will be back next year to put on another spectacular show in Davos.

Young Canadian O’Neill rider Seb Toots had stunned the crowds with the huge amplitude on his Backside Airs in qualifying in his very first quarterpipe competition, and had everyone holding out to see what would come next. However the 15 year old was hit with a stomach bug and had to sit out the semi finals.

Risto Mattila. McTwist.

Manuel Pietropoli, on the other hand, had mixed fortunes. The Italian had stolen the show in the semi finals with an incredible 8 meter Backside Air, but could not repeat his feat in the finals. No bother. He still walked away as a winner – of the Swatch Highest Air competition, awarding him US$6,000. “It’s scary up there,” he said of flying out of the 10m high quarterpipe. “But I won the highest air so I am happy with this. I have had a good time here.”

All the highlights of the event and interviews are now on O’Neill TV.


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