Stratton Mountain, VT (March 19, 2010) Balmy weather made Vermont feel more like California at the 28th annual US Open Snowboarding Championships, where Europeans Mikkel Bang (NOR) and Sina Candrian (SUI) each took home $20,000 and top slopestyle honors. Both riders are new to the top spot of the US Open slopestyle podium, adding a coveted title to their career highlights.

“It’s my seventh year coming here to the US Open and the first time I’ve made it to the slopestyle podium,” says Mikkel Bang. “All of the top riders are here, which makes it even more special to win. This really is the perfect ending of the season for me.”

Mikkel Bang won his first US Open slopestyle title with authority when he took the lead in his first run, then topped it with a nearly perfect 98.00 on his second run, which included a Cab 1080, switch backside 1260 indy and a frontside 1080 on the jumps. The battle for second and third place podium spots went down to the final run of the competition when Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) upset the podium line-up with a strong run that included a backside 900, Cab 900 nosegrab and a backside 1080 late cork finishing with a 50/50 to a double front flip off the canon feature, which also scored him the AMP Energy Best Trick award. After sitting in second for a few runs, Sebastien Toutant (CAN) got bumped to third place by a few fractions of a point following Ulrik’s final run.

In the women’s competition, Sina Candrian grabbed the lead with her first run and held onto it, topping her own score in the third run of the finals. Sina’s best scoring run included a Cab 540, frontside 720 and a backside 360 on the jumps. Coming in second was New Zealander Shelly Gotlieb, who earned a spot on the podium with her last run that featured a Cab 540, backflip and a backside 720. Former US Open slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson earned third place and Lisa Wiik (NOR) took home the AMP Energy Best Trick for her backside 720 indy.

“Today was really my day because my runs kept getting better and better,” said Sina Candrian. “The features were perfectly shaped and the course was fun to ride – it’s amazing to win here and I’m so happy that it put me in the lead for the women’s TTR title.”

More action is in store tonight at the US Open with the ‘Black & Night Jam’, starting at 7:15 pm followed by Rahzel and JS-1 playing a free concert at 9:00 pm – all taking place at Stratton Mountain’s Sun Bowl area.

Tomorrow at the US Open is one of the biggest days in snowboarding, with four major titles up for grabs, including the coveted US Open halfpipe crown, a new Volvo for the top male and female overall riders, the women’s and men’s 2010 Burton Global Open Series (BGOS) Championship titles and the men’s Swatch TTR World Tour Championship title, which Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) already secured for the second straight year. Sina Candrian’s win today puts her in the lead for the women’s Swatch TTR World Tour Championship title.

If you can’t make it to Stratton, you can watch the US Open on ABC on March 27 at 5:00 pm EST and 3:00 pm PST.

US Open Mens Slope Finals

US Open Mens Slope Finals

Men’s Slopestyle Final Results

1. Mikkel Bang (NOR) 98.00
2. Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) 93.67
3. Sebastien Toutant (CAN) 93.33
AMP Energy Best Trick: Ulrik Badertscher – Double front flip off the canon feature

Women’s Slopestyle Final Results
1. Sina Candrian (SUI) 95.50
2. Shelly Gotlieb (NZL) 89.33
3. Jamie Anderson (USA) 88.00
AMP Energy Best Trick: Lisa Wiik – Backside 720 Indy

CHECK THE US OPEN SLOPESTYLE FULL STORY AND PHOTOS HERE

AND US OPEN SLOPESTYLE VIDEO HERE