Peetu Piiroinen and Enni Rukajärvi Win Burton European Open Slopestyle
Finnish riders Peetu Piiroinen (21 years old) and Enni Rukajärvi (19 years old) were the big winners of an exciting slopestyle finals up on Crap Sogn Gion today. Peetu claimed his 3rd BEO title today; while Enni secured her first win at the BEO. Both earned US$ 15.000 prize-money, 8.000 BGOS points as well as 1.000 TTR points. Mikkel Bang (NOR) and local rider Sina Candrian (SUI) took second and Gerjmund Braaten (NOR) and Sarka Pancochova (CZE) rounded out the podium.
Peetu – Swatch TTR World Champion 08/09 – was very excited about his win: "I'm so happy that I had a very clean final run. That gives me a lot of motivation for the halfpipe finals tomorrow after qualifying 16th in yesterday's semi-finals." Up and coming rider Enni Rukajärvi was a bit surprised: "I can't believe that I've won here. After taking over the lead in the first run, I wasn't that nervous anymore which helped me for the last runs."
The slopestyle competition today saw so many young guns riding exceptionally well both in the men's and women's competition. The slopestyle course was in perfect shape and every single rider seemed to have so much fun on the course. The course started off with creative features in the upper part with a kink box, a pole jam, the black jib tube and a stair set with a double kink rail and a down box, followed by the quarterpipe feature before finishing up with a kicker line consisting of three jumps.
Eight women and 16 men had three runs in the finals today to earn a spot on the podium. In the women's field last week's Roxy Chicken Jam Winner Enni Rukajärvi was clearly in the lead after her first run. She managed to hold on to her lead throughout the next runs and impressed everybody with super strong riding all the way through the finals. Enni's winning run started off with a 50-50 boardslide to fakie on the box, a cab 360 slide off the pole jam, a cab 270 boardslide on the jib tube, a 50-50 on the box, a stalefish on the quarterpipe feature and finished off with a frontside 360 indy, a backside mute 540 and a cab 720 over the kicker line.
On the men's side it was 2004 BEO Junior winner Mikkel Bang who took over the early lead with his first run that earned him 92 points. 08/09 Swatch TTR World Tour Champion Peetu Piiroinen topped Mikkel's score by only one point and took over the lead with 93 points on his final run. Peetu's winning run included a 270 boardslide 270 out on the box, a backside 360 mute off the pole jam, a frontside disaster on the jib tube, a switch frontside boardslide on the box, an inverted cab 720 on the quarterpipe and a backside 1080 tailgrab, a frontside 900 and a cab 1080 on the kicker-line. 2nd placed Mikkel mentioned: "I'm so stoked I could land all my tricks. It is crazy how many young riders are riding on such a high level. It means a lot to me to be on the podium again after winning the BEO junior title years ago." The 3rd spot on the podium was taken by 19 year old Gjermund Braaten (NOR) who fought his way into the finals all the way from the pre-qualification. His second run earned him the well-deserved podium spot after riding strong throughout the week and especially today. Gjermund had a great day and stated: "I had the best run of my life and it's the best result for me so far. I had to go through a long journey all the way through the pre-qualifications, but gained more confidence day by day."
Today's slopestyle finalists also earned valuable points towards both the Burton Global Opens Series title (US$ 200.000 prize-money) and the Swatch Ticket To Ride World Championship titles. Both the BGOS as well as TTR standings saw some changes today with Christian Haller (SUI) taking over the lead in the
BGOS men's rankings and moving into the TTR Top 5, as he now sits in World No. 5. Christian Haller has a chance to move into World No. 2 after tomorrow's halfpipe finals. Both Peetu Piiroinen and Sarka Pancochova defended their TTR tour lead today. Sarka is now also leading the BGOS women's standings. Peetu had this to say: "The points today are very important for me and I'm stoked I was able to defend the TTR tour lead."
After seven days of competitions the 11th BEO wraps up tomorrow with the big final show – the halfpipe finals. Be prepared for a thrilling show tomorrow before all riders, media and spectators will celebrate another great BEO during the live concert of "The Sounds" in Riders Palace Club.
If you can't make it to the BEO halfpipe finals up on Crag Sogn Gion at LAAX, be sure to catch the action LIVE on Go211.com at the following times:
Jan. 16th Live Web Cast start @ 11h15 (CET)
If you don't have the chance to watch it live, you can watch the replay at 8 pm (CET) or 2 pm (EST).
Women's Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Rukajärvi Enni FIN ROXY 93.17
2. Candrian Sina SUI BURTON 78.50
3. Pancochova Sarka CZE FLOW 74.50
Men's Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Piiroinen Peetu FIN BURTON F 93.00
2. Bang Mikkel NOR BURTON F 92.00
3. Braaten Gjermund NOR OAKLEY F 87.83
For more information on the Burton European, head to www.opensnowboarding.com .Follow the BEO on Twitter @ opensnowboard.