The new crop of Swatch TTR talent fought to be crowned WSF World Rookie Champion this weekend at the 4Star Protest World Rookie Finals in Ischgl, Austria. Roope Tonteri stomped his way to first place and earned 500 TTR ranking points. Also on the line was a filming session with Pirate Movie Productions and a photo-shooting with Onboard Europe giving young riders the opportunity to step on stage and earn international recognition. Tonteri was closely followed by Kevin Backstrom in second place and Eskil Korneliussen in third. Michaela Davis-Meehan, the only Australian in the starting field, stood up to her female competitors and took home the win for the girls.
Due to unfortunate weather conditions on Friday, qualifications and finals were held together on Saturday in a three-runs format. As the best two runs counted, the riders had to show a variety of tricks increasing the intensity of the event and ensuring the onlookers witnessed some amazing feats.
The springtime sun shone brightly upon the slushy course as the rookies stepped it up in front of a large end of season crowd. Klaus Marko had shaped the park which consisted of jumps from 8m to 20m, boxes, rails, and a wall ride, providing countless opportunities for the riders to get their shred on and showcase creativity.
“I am happy to be World Rookie Champion. The riding was good today and I am stoked that another Finnish rider is champion after Peetu Piiroinen won the TTR Tour this year.”, Tonteri said after he learned about his win. Tonteri who showed a good performance at TTR events all over the world this year moves into World No. 105 in the Swatch TTR World Rankings.
Some of the nicest tricks of the day were thrown down by Darek Bergmann who finished in fifth with a run including a Frontside 7 with super nice Crail Grab, by Kevin Backstrom with a Frontside 1080 followed by a Tailbonk to 360 Out on the RedBull Obstacle and by Austrian shred talent Luca Schranz who surprised everyone with some one-footed action on the kinkrail and the following kicker. Props also have to go out to Teddy Koo (JAP), who took out the 2Star North Face Korean Rookie Fest and finished in fourth position today. Throughout the contest the level of riding was on professional standards and everyone will be watching as these newcomers erupt onto the Swatch TTR world stage in coming seasons.