We've been so busy at the new shred product drooling, micro scooter dodging, bizarre Chinese hall visiting bonanza that is the ISPO tradeshow in Munich that we haven't been able to post much at all on the site this week. Apologies for that - we'll be back in business proper next week and keep an eye out for sneak peeks of all of next season's kit coming soon. While we were scoping out all of the shiny new stuff we wanna get our hands on, a sprightly cohort of riders were throwing down in Laax at the 2013 edition of the Burton European Open and after some difficult conditions earlier in the week, the sun finally made an appearance for yesterday's women's halfpipe and men's slopestyle semi finals. Here's what went down:
Men's slopestyle semi-finals
40 riders rocked up to tackle the course, which featured a dog-leg rail section at the top, three booters, a down-flat rail, pole jam, tank and the Mini Creative Use of Space feature. Despite riders suffering from speed issues and many opting for slow stylish spins over more technical meat-hucking, there were still a grip of double corks and 1080s.
Torstein Horgmo put down a solid first run which included a switch back 5, front 10 double and back 10 double and sat in first place until he was pipped by X Games gold medallist Mark McMorris, whose run featured three double corks and solid tricks on the rails.
In round two Horgmo leap-frogged McMorris and managed to stay in first place with a score of 91.50, while 12/13 WST Big Air champion Sebastien Toutant stomped cab double underflip, front 7 and back 10 double to slip into third.
Women's halfpipe semi-finals
It was the Yanks who were able to put down their runs when it counted in the 14 women halfpipe semi finals with five out of the six qualifying riders flying stars and stripes. With her signature amplitude and a solid score of 95.33 it was Kelly Clark who finished in the top spot and who will no-doubt be eyeing up her sixth BEO victory in tomorrow's finals. With four of her countrywomen including double corking Elena Hight and Ellery Hollingsworth riding impressively it's definitely not going to be a walk in the park for the Olympic gold medallist. Swiss rider Ursina Haller just squeaked into the final 6 and will no doubt be receive huge support from the local crowds tomorrow.
Men's slopestyle finals
Finals were set to go down today but when we woke here in Laax to fresh snow and poor visibility, we knew it would take some clearing up for the competition to go ahead. Sadly the crap weather refused to budge, leaving the organisers no choice but to cancel the men's slope finals and entire women's slopestyle competition for safety reasons. Bummer.
Still, a powder day in a region where Nico Muller can fill a full Absinthe part is not the worst compromise in the world and we for one, weren't complaining. In the end the men's prize money went to the top three riders, while the women's money was split evenly between all of the competitors. We're optimistic that the weather will clear for tomorrow's pipe finals though.
Slopestyle Semi-Final Men
1. Torstein Horgmo, NOR, DC, 91.50
2. Mark McMorris, CAN, BURTON, 83.17
3. Sebastien Toutant, CAN, O`NEILL, 82.33
4. Eric Willet, USA, VANS, 79.19
5. Stale Sandbech, NOR, OAKLEY, 78.00
6. Seth Hill, USA, SIMS, 75.17
7. Peetu Piiroinen, FIN, NIKE, 73.50
8. Aleksander Ostreng, NOR, BURTON 73.00
9. Brage Richenberg, NOR, SALOMON, 72.83
10. Sven Thorgren, SWE, OAKLEY, 72.33
11. Roope Tonteri, FIN, BURTON, 69.17
12. Eric Beauchemin, USA, DC, 69.00
Halfpipe Semi-Final Women
1. Kelly Clark, USA, Burton, 95.33
2. Ellery Hollingsworth, USA, Nike, 89.00
3. Arielle Gold, USA, Burton, 86.67
4. Elena Hight, USA, Volcom, 84.50
5. Serena Shaw, USA, 75.00
6. Ursina Haller, SUI, K2, 72.33