Peetu Piiroinen. Photo: Christian Stadler.
The 6Star Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland, is destined to play a pivotal role in the tightly contested Swatch TTR Title battles. From 9th – 16th January, previous TTR World Champions and uprising stars will be giving everything they have in hope of locking down some of the double 1000 TTR points to jump up in the ranking and part of the $125 000 USD event prize purse. Men and women riders will be coming together for this 6Star competition that will consist of both Slopestyle and Halfpipe formats.
Current Swatch TTR World No.1, Chas Guldemond (USA), is already in Switzerland for this week’s 6Star O’Neill Evolution. Depending on his results there, he will be hoping to defend the TTR tour lead. Last year’s Swatch TTR Tour Champion and BEO 08 Halfpipe winner, Kevin Pearce (USA), will be back in Laax looking to repeat his 2008 performance to move from World No. 7 into the TTR Top 5. 06/07 TTR Tour Champion, Shaun White (USA), will be aiming to capitalize on his recent success in Tokyo to move from his current rank in the Top 30 into the Top 10. After the recent Nissan X-Trail Jam, Shaun remarked “I’m going to go for it…I want to win this thing”, sending an ominous warning to his rivals in the race for this year’s Swatch TTR World Title.
Iouri Podladtchikov. Photo: Christian Stadler.
Finnish crowd pleaser Peetu Piiroinen has recently been stepping it up on the Swatch TTR Tour and is showing no signs of slowing down. The fact that he can hold it down on both Halfpipe and Slopestyle means he is a strong chance to move into up higher in the TTR rankings. However, taking out the top spot at the BEO will be no easy task, especially with so many world class riders in attendance. Previous BEO winners Nicolas Mueller (SUI), Mikkel Bang (NOR) and Andy Finch (USA) are all strong contenders for victory and we can expect them to bust out the big maneuvers.
Also snowboarding’s female crème of the crop are frothing on the prospect of battling it out for TTR ranking points. Swatch TTR World No.1 Jamie Anderson (USA) is going to be the one to beat as she will be looking to defend her Tour lead. Beside her, two-time BEO halfpipe winner and current World No. 10 in the TTR rankings, Kelly Clark (USA), will be trying to earn her third BEO HP victory to keep moving up the ranking. She started her season off strong with a third place finish at the 5Star New Zealand Open and definitely has the skills to take out the contest.
With the Revolution Tour in the U.S., the Chill and Destroy Tour in Austria, the popular Protest World Rookie Fest in Italy and the Burton Am Series in both Lake Tahoe and Bear Mountain, there will also be a stack of Swatch TTR 3Star action going on around the world from January 10th to 18th 2009. All these competitions provide a platform for the rookies to chase their goals and start their snowboarding career.
If you can’t make it to Switzerland, watch the BEO semi-finals and finals live on www.go211.com from January 13th to 16th 2009, and look out for video updates on www.ttrworldtour.com, where you can also find more information about this year’s BEO and all the international 3Star events. With a total prize money payout of $2 million USD including event prize money on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour it is going to be one epic season. Make sure you stay logged onto the site and don’t miss a minute of the action.Top 10 Season 08/09 TTR World Snowboard Rankings as of 06.12.2008
1 – Guldemond, Chas USA
2 – Maurer, Stephan SUI
3 – Horgmo, Torstein NOR
4 – Korpi, Janne FIN
5 – Reid, Charles CAN
6 – Mitrani, Luke USA
7 – Pearce, Kevin USA
8 – Sörman, Chris SWE
9 – Malin, Markus FIN
10 – Uotila, Ville FIN