Burton US Open Report

Stratton, VT, USA – March 21st, 2008: The sun finally broke out for the Swatch TTR 6-Star Burton US Open Slopestyle finals, but the winds kicked up a notch giving riders another challenge alongside a determined field of talented professional snowboarders.

Kevin Pearce (USA), who barely held on to his Tour lead, didn’t make the Slopestyle finals, giving Risto Mattila (FIN) and Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) a golden opportunity to move into the Tour Lead with a podium finish. But in the end, it was Shaun White (USA) who took home the 6- Star Burton US Open Slopestyle Title and 1250 TTR ranking points, followed by Tim Humphreys (USA) in second and Charles Reid (CAN) in third.

The fight for Tour lead certainly had judges, riders and fans running on pure adrenaline as the Slopestyle set the stage for tomorrow’s Halfpipe and Swatch TTR showdown. Ninja snow master, Shaun White, claimed the first place position with a near flawless run that included a Cab 9, BS 9, switch BS 9 and ended with a incredibly clean BS 1080. His perfect performance moves White into the TTR Top 20 with just four TTR results. Tim Humphreys claimed the second place spot stomping tricks left, right and center, moving into the TTR Top 10. Charles Reid certainly made Canadians proud proving his worth in the pre-qualifiers and charging all the way through to the podium.

Although Peetu Piiroinen only placed fifth in the Slopestyle, he managed to out perform his fellow Finnish rider Risto Mattila, who placed tenth, moving Piiroinen into TTR World No. 2. This certainly closed the gap between Piiroinen and Pearce, who remained Tour Leader with no additional points. This creates an intense situation for tomorrow’s Halfpipe competition as Kevin Pearce, Peetu Piiroinen and Risto Mattila could all walk away as the new 07/08 Swatch TTR Tour Champion. It’s going to be a very close call as all three riders have been riding transitions exceptionally well all season long.

The Women’s Swatch TTR ranking also underwent some big changes. The shake-ups began in the women’s semi-final round with Torah Bright (AUS) unable to harness her Slopestyle skills and Kelly Clark (USA) opting to not ride in slopestyle. With two of the top women out of the finals, it opened the door for other ladies like Jamie Anderson (USA), Jenny Jones (GBR) and Sina Candrian (SUI) to make some moves in the Top 5. Kjersti Buaas’ (NOR) first run of the finals held strong all the way through giving her the Slopestyle Title, but it was Jamie Anderson’s second place that pushed her into World No. 1 ahead of Torah Bright who is now World No. 3. Jenny Jones managed to hold her ground on the icy course rounding out the women’s Top 3 both in the Slopestyle and in the Swatch TTR rankings.

Anderson and Jones are putting up an incredible fight in the last two 6-Star events on the women’s Tour. However, Torah Bright and Kelly Clark have a chance to gain some ground in tomorrow’s Halfpipe competition, as they are both top-notch Halfpipe competitors making for a dramatic lead into the 6-Star Roxy Chicken Jam next week – the final women’s event of the Tour where the women’s TTR Tour Champion will be crowned.

The 6-Star Burton US Open Halfpipe showdown gets underway tomorrow with semi-finals kicking off at 9am EST. With some big moves taking place after slopestyle finals today, it is going to be interesting to see how the race for the Men’s Swatch TTR World Tour Championship Title and a piece of the

Author: silvia