When: Fri 4th of January 2008
Where: Davos, Switzerland
Davos, January 4, 2008 - It was a combination of mind-blowing amplitude and tricks that propelled Andy Finch into first place of the O’Neill Evolution superpipe competition.
“I went for amplitude," the American rider said. “That’s my niche so I used it. I got frustrated that I didn’t win the highest air competition earlier in the day, but I hoped there was a plan."
His plan consisted of a Frontside Air, Backside Rodeo 540, Frontside 1080, Mc Twist and Alley Oop, with some of these tricks appearing to rise above the height of the floodlights.
“It felt good. It’s always exciting to be at this event," he said. “It’s a good crowd, a good format, and of course a good pipe," he said.
Andy Finch takes home US$15,000 as well as 1,000 TTR ranking points for his ride, which scored him 270 points out of a possible 300.
There was a strong contingent of Finnish riders in the final of the 6 star Swatch TTR event – making up half of the numbers. With Andy on form, they had to settle for second and third place, with the biggest surprise of the night being that last year’s O’Neill Evolution winner, Antti Autti, was not among them, finishing in 7th place.
Risto Mattila (FIN) had a clean run in the final where he pulled off a Backside Air, Frontside 1080, Cab 720, Frontside 900 and a Mc Twist. And that was all he needed, scoring 244 points and finishing in second place. “I just wanted to come here and do one good run," he said. That he did.
It was Janne Korpi, the Finnish O’Neill rider who completed the trio on the podium. “I am so happy right now," he said. “I was just happy to be in the final, so to be in third place feels amazing. I tried to go for very technical riding and go quite high."
His run saw him pull off a Backside 540, Frontside 1080, Cab 720, Air to Fakie, and a Cab 900, scoring 240 points. “It’s been so much fun," he said. “I have been riding so much today, my body is so tired, but it was a fun day."
It was not to be Iouri Podladtchikov’s night. Head judge Dani Kiwi Meier picked out Iouri’s back-to-back 10s as the most impressive maneuvers of the evening, but the Swiss rider was unable to stick all the tricks in his run and had to settle for 10th place.
Another rider who did not realise their potential in the final was Tahitian Gary Zebrowski. He convincingly won his semi final heat, but could not find the same form in the final - although finished an impressive fourth.
Earlier today Stefano Munari beat last year’s SP Swatch Highest Air Contest winner Antti Autti to win the US$3,000 prize money with a 4.8m Frontside Air.
The Italian O’Neill rider was ecstatic with his result. “I am so happy. I like this pipe in Davos. And I like to get a lot of height with my Frontside Air."
He didn’t get past the semi finals of the superpipe, but there is likely to be much more from the Italian rider next year here at the O’Neill Evolution.