Photo: Jake Stangel
One of snowboarding’s quietest characters, Peetu Piiroinen, has let his riding do the talking to claim the TTR World Title at the US Open in Vermont. Here is the official word from the guys at TTR:
It was an epic day of stellar Halfpipe riding in Stratton, Vermont, as Finnish rider Peetu Piiroinen became the 08/09 Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion at the 6Star Burton US Open. Both the men’s and women’s fields were stacked with some of the best pipe riders in the world, with Australian Torah Bright winning the women’s pipe title and veteran U.S. pipe rider Danny Kass claiming his 5th US Open Halfpipe win amidst a roaring crowd and bluebird skies.
The 8-women and 16-men final amped up the competition considerably. The battle for the Swatch TTR World Title was set early on between US shredder Shaun White and Peetu Piiroinen, but with Shaun out of the contest due to an injured ankle, all Peetu had to do was finish 8th or higher to become the Tour Champion.
The amplitude was huge, the grabs were boned out and the spins super smooth as riders like Charles Reid (CAN), Louie Vito (USA), and fellow Finnish rider Markus Malin gave Peetu a run for his money. Luke Mitrani (USA) set the bar high on his first run that included an insane Switch Double Backflip that ultimately landed him 3rd place.
A Piiroinen pirouette
Danny Kass, a long time Halfpipe competitor and no stranger to the US Open flew under the radar until his third run where he stomped a Frontside 10, Cab 10, Backside 720 and a Switch Alley-oop 540 to become the most successful Halfpipe competitor in US Open history, bagging his 5th title. Peetu Piiroinen however, managed to improve on his first run immensely, sticking a Frontside 720, Cab 1080, Alley-oop Backside Rodeo, Frontside Alley-oop, Fronside 540 and a Backside 720. Peetu’s second place finish in the US Open pipe clinched his place in history as the 08/09 Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion.
“I just heard that I won the TTR,” said Peetu after the pipe finals. “It feels good, it feels good. I am the first Finnish guy to win that, so it’s super cool. I’m so stoked.”
Similarly, the women kept the high-caliber competition consistent with a roller coaster finale. They kept it close right up until their third and final drops with Kjersti Oestgaard-Buaas, Ellery Hollingsworth, Gretchen Bleiler and Kelly Clark all stepping things up. Clark seemed to have a firm grasp on first place after her first run but a big surprise came from Torah Bright on her third and final run. Bright had some big trouble on her first two attempts but took first place with her last run that included a 720 Indy, Crippler, Backside 360 Indy, a sick Switch Backside 720 and a Backside 540. U.S. rider Ellery Hollingsworth rounded out the women’s podium in third.
Torah flyin high…
“It feels good,” said Torah after standing atop the podium. “It feels good. I only just realized that this was the first Open that I ‘ve done all year and TTR event. So I am just happy to be here, in one piece and put together this good run and won.”
In the Slopestyle, US rider Chas Guldemond and Kjersti Oestgaard-Buaas of Norway managed to push through the weather and a tough field of competitors to become the men’s and women’s Slopestyle champs at the Swatch TTR 6Star Burton US Open. On top of his 6Star title and TTR World No. 2 position, Chas was also crowned the overall winner of the Burton Global Open Series, taking home $100 000, with Kjersti setting her sights on the women’s TTR World Tour Title – to be decided at the Roxy Chicken Jam in Mammoth later this week.
Guldemond who performed consistently well throughout the season finished his TTR season as World No. 2 right behind the 08/09 Swatch TTR Tour Champion Peetu Piiroinen, who finished in 4th in the Slopestyle. Finnish rider Antti Autti who placed 5th, moved up one spot to TTR World No. 3 followed by Kevin Pearce (USA) in No. 4 and Risto Mattila (FIN) in No. 5.
To check out all the action that took place today at the 6Star Burton US Open, including detailed news, full rankings and video highlights, head on over to www.ttrworldtour.com.MEN’S SWATCH TTR WORLD SNOWBOARD TOUR: FINAL RANKINGS