When: Sat 18th of April 2009
Where: Ischgl, Austria
When Peetu Piiroinen was crowned World Rookie Champion in 2004, nobody thought that the small Finish snowboarder would become TTR World Champion one day.
Maybe the same goes for Roope Tonteri who just became World Rookie Champion this weekend at the 4Star TTR Protest World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria... Roope stomped his way to first place, closely followed by Kevin Backstrom (SWE) in second place and Eskil Korneliussen (NOR) in third. Michaela Davis-Meehan, the only Australian in the starting field, stood up to her female competitors and took home the win for the girls. In the groms section, 14 years old Sven Thorgren from Sweden took home the trophy.
Due to unfortunate weather conditions on Friday, qualifications and finals were held together on Saturday in a three-runs format. As the best two runs counted, the riders had to show a variety of tricks increasing the intensity of the event and ensuring the onlookers witnessed some amazing feats: 10s, 9s and 7s, backflips and frontflips, rodeos and all kind of super tweaked tricks - these kids are snowboarding's bright future!
By speaking of bright, the springtime sun also shone brightly upon the slushy course that Klaus Marko had shaped and which consisted of jumps from 8m to 20m, boxes, rails, and a wall ride, providing countless opportunities for the riders to get their shred on and showcase creativity.
Some of the nicest tricks of the day were thrown down by Darek Bergmann (CZE) who finished in fifth with a run including a Frontside 7 with super nice Crail Grab, by Kevin Backstrom with a Frontside 1080 and by Austrian shred talent Luca Schranz who surprised everyone with some one-footed action on the kinkrail and the following kicker. Props also have to go out to Teddy Koo (JAP), who took out the 2Star North Face Korean Rookie Fest and finished in fourth position yesterday.
“I am happy to be World Rookie Champion. The riding was good today and I am stoked that another Finnish rider is champion after Peetu Piiroinen won the TTR Tour this year.", Tonteri said after he learnt about his win.
But before World Rookie champion Roope and the grom's winner Sven Thorgren return home with their trophies, they stay another couple of days here in Ischgl to go shooting with Onboard's photo ed Sami Tuorniemi. They are followed by more of the most talented rookie riders of the world: Kevin Backstrom from Sweden (2nd place in Ischgl), Norwegian Eskil Korneliussen (3rd place in Ischgl) ,Teddy Koo from Japan (winner of the Korean Rookie Fest), Darek Bergmann (2nd place at the Czech World Rookie Fest) and Tim-Kevin Ravnjak (groms winner of the Slovenian Rookie Fest)!
More about this shooting will follow soon on this website, just check German ed Mel's blog...
Words by Melanie Schönthier