The Swatch TTR (Ticket To Ride) World Tour has officially wrapped up for the season--and what a year it was! Legendary, even! This amazing tour, which links the very best independent snowboard competitions into a world-class global series, continues to lead competitive snowboarding in both prestige and progression.
Back in 2002, the TTR was born out of Terje Haakonsen's Arctic Challenge and a vision he shared with other influential riders and organizers to create grassroots contests made for riders, by riders. Simple enough idea, right? After decades of contests run by skiers and rave promoters, Terje and the new TTR ushered in a new era of rider-led pro-level events. That was then.
Now in the winter of 2008/9, the Swatch TTR tour represents the best in snowboarding competition. The sports biggest and baddest battle it out for the glory and the cash all over the world. Series events are weighted using a scale (5 Star, 6, Star, etc) and individual event points are tallied for an overall ranking... this is over-simplified, to read the whole break down on the TTR series check here.
2008/9 TTR Events on the top of the event card:
6 Star events?
Nokia Air & Style Munich?
Burton European Open Snowboarding Championships?
Nissan X-Trail Jam?
The Oakley Arctic Challenge
Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships?
Roxy Chicken Jam Europe (women only)
?Roxy Chicken Jam US (women only)
As the last events in the series wrapped up this week, the leaders on the points board ended up being Finland's Peetu Piiroinen for the men and Vermont's Kelly Clark for the women. On top of the $50,000 check each of them received for their sustained efforts throughout the season, they both hold the title and the prestige is almost as sweet as the money (that's a joke!). Fifty-grand is a sick payday and these two riders deserve it for such hard work.
Kelly Clark, TTR Tour Champ.
Peetu Piiroinen is the first Finn to win the title for his home country and he brought home this TTR title with determination and versatility. Throughout the season he rose up the rankings. He beat Shaun White in Japan in Big Air at the Nissan X-Trail, he won the QP contest at the O'Neill Evolution, crushed at Air & Style and stood on the podium in a number of pipe events. With his second place finish in the pipe at the US Open in Vermont last week, Piiroinen overtook the top spot on the TTR scorecard.
Kelly Clark is one snowboarding's most dominant competitors, so it was after a long season of halfpipe podiums that she landed in the winner's circle for the TTR title. Ups and downs in the rankings did not deter her: 1st place at the European Open, 1st at the Nissan X-Trail Asian Open and 3rd at the NZ Open helped keep her in the running. While last year's winner, Jamie Anderson stayed sidelined with an injury, Kelly filled the gap by grabbing 2nd place in pipe a the US Open and then crushing them again at the Roxy Chicken Jam. With a 1st in pipe and a far-out 21st place in slope at the Chicken Jam, Clark shored up the lead and was crowned the champ.
For more information on the series, the riders and everything else, go here.
2008/9 Swatch TTR Tour Results:
1. Peetu Piiroinen
2. Chas Guldemond
3. Antti Autti
1. Kelly Clark
2. Lisa Wiik
3. Jamie Anderson
To see more about these riders and TTR, here on TransWorld, go here or here or here.