We’re less than two days away from the start of the biggest snowboard contest ever to be held in China--the 6 star TTR Oakley & Shaun White Air & Style. The roster is an international list of heavies including Peetu, Mikkel, Lago, Halldor, Seb, Wiig, and more. Today, riders got the first look at the jump located in the sold-out 10,000 person Olympic Sports Stadium in downtown Beijing. The wind was howling, so practice was put off until tomorrow, but that didn’t keep Scotty Lago from jogging up the switchback staircase and taking a mellow guinea pig at it … and then another. A little more work on the lip and this thing is good to go for Friday’s practice.
Judging by the few big air contests that have already gone down this winter, we’re going to have a massive double cork off. Norwegian rider Gjermund Bratten is the current TTR Tour leader, he won the Freestyle.Ch title in September with a BS double cork 12. Marco Grilc won the first FIS World Cup Big Air in London this past October with a BS double cork 1080. Then Seb Touts won the second Big Air in Sweden with a FS double cork 1080, but he also threw down a BS double cork 1260. If you take it back to last season, you’ve got Halldor’s perfect X Games scoring BS double cork 1260 to factor in. Do you see where this is going? Would you want to judge this? Hell no. But this event is no FIS World Cup; it’s a TTR 6star world tour event with 50G on the line for first and a rapid-fire head to head elimination format to take the intensity through the roof.
The drawing for the first round breaks just went down. There are some seriously heavy pairings below. Only eight riders will advance to the second round, and then four in the superfinal where the overall winner with the highest points is determined. Who do you think is going to advance through from the first round? Go ahead and hedge your bets:
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Check back for the live webcast on Saturday, December 4 starting at 11:30 GMT.