Burton European Open 2011 Slopestyle – Roope Tonteri and Jamie Anderson Win

Peetu Piiroinen cranks one out in the quarterpipe... - Photo: Nick Atkins

Roope Tonteri staked his claim to a place at snowboarding’s top table today by winning the 2011 Burton European Open Slopestyle – and my god what a claim it is! His stupidly technical final run culminated with a backside double cork 12 into a cab 1440. That’s four full rotations. Switch. As he put it down with clinical precision, a huge shout went up from the assembled photographers standing on the knuckle – industry veterans who are not easily impressed. Make no mistake this kid has arrived. On his way to winning, the 18-year-old (who only last year was still riding on the World Rookie Tour) beat some of snowboarding’s biggest names. Peetu Piiroinen, the man who Roope’s riding resembles most closely, was one of them. He finished in second, leaving Chas Guldemond to take third. Meanwhile in the women’s event, Jamie Anderson gave a masterclass in classic style to take the title, beating Sina Candrian and young yank Jordie Karlinski in the process.

...before launching himself off the kickers - Photo: Tristan

The day started well. The weather gods had brought out their best sunshine for the occasion, and the Laax park shapers had groomed their slopestyle course to perfection. Hangovers notwithstanding, everything was looking good. The women went first, with Jamie Anderson throwing down her winning run straight out of the start gate – stomping everything clean first try. Her score of 78.55 included a massive 35 points for ‘flow’, an overall style score that judges now award as part of the TTR’s new Snowboard Live Scoring System. Watching Jamie’s tweaked spins and the amazing way she strings a sequence of tricks together, you’d be hard pushed to argue with the judges’ assessment. The score meant that the rest of the field was playing catch-up the whole time, but no-one, not even Jamie herself, managed to match it.

It's hard to believe Christian Haller finished at the bottom of the final when you see something like this isn't it? - Photo: Nick Atkins

The men, who had struggled with difficult conditions in the semi-finals, responded to the bright weather by bringing out their big tricks. As Jamie Nicholls explained “you just couldn’t do doubles on Wednesday, you couldn’t get the speed for the second kicker. And that’s the one you want to do it on cos it’s a step-up so you can get more airtime.” There were no such problems today, and riders were putting down doubles all over the place – Chas Guldemond’s opening run through the kickers went double cork 10, double backside rodeo 9, cab double cork 10.

Chas Guldemond whips out a method after falling - photo: Tristan

Seppe Smits had set the bar high earlier with a back 12 and a cab 10, and as each rider dropped, the one-up-manship on the rotations got more and more insane. Qualifier Sven Thorgren was one of the few who wasn’t chucking in double flips. But while his super-stylish backside rodeo methods were earning him high flow scores, they were never going to beat the technical wizardry on display. Likewise Ethan Morgan’s switch backside rodeos, which were stylish as hell, weren’t earning him big points. We did see the occasional method to break up the sequence of massive spins, usually when a rider had fallen earlier in the course. This year, major sponsors Mini are giving out a cash-prize for ‘creative use of space’, meaning that riders who’ve stacked still have something to play for. Seb Toots, who cocked up what looked like a relatively simple trick on the quarterpipe on his first run, decided not to go for it though. Instead he banged down an insanely technical run anyway as if nothing had happened.

After two runs from each rider, Peetu was in the lead, with Chas, Seppe Smits and Roope behind him. The Finnish stomping machine looked set to be crusing to another title. But as the top four dropped in reverse order, Roope brought out that properly crazy run, and when Chas and Peetu both fell on the top section, the title was Tonteri’s.

The men's podium - Photo: Tristan

Burton European Open 2011 Slopestyle Final – Results
1 Roope Tonteri
2 Peetu Piiroinen
3 Chas Guldemond
4 Seppe Smits
5 Ethan Morgan
6 Roger Kleivdal
7 Mark McMorris
8 Sven Thorgren
9 Seb Toots
10 Christian Haller

The women's podium - Photo: Tristan

1 Jamie Anderson
2 Sina Candrian
3 Jordie Karlinski
4 Silje Norendaal
5 Ty Walker
6 Urska Pribosicwith

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