WORLD CHAMPIONS WIN EUROPEAN OPEN
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LAAX, Switzerland, March 3rd 2012 - World Champions Kelly Clark (USA) and Iouri Podladchikov win the Burton European Open slopestyle, on yet another very warm and sunny day in LAAX and each get to take home the $15,000 first prize. Second in the women's competition was American Gretchen Bleiler, followed by Yuki Furihata from Japan. In an exciting men's final, Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov took the win with his second run with a score of 88.90, followed by Danny Davis (USA) and Japanese rider Ryo Aono.
It was another perfect day in Laax with ladies' halfpipe finals first thing this morning and Kelly Clark was dominating from her first run. With Gretchen Bleiler on her heels, Kelly improved her result in the second run, throwing a beautiful frontside 900 to backside 540, going into a massive frontside 1080 and a Cab 720 Mute to finish it of.
Gretchen wasn't able to improve her first result, but managed to hold on to her second place regardless. Yuki Furihata also performed best in her second run and with her 72.63 score she landed the last podium spot. Kelly Clark, commented happy as ever on her win: "It was great riding in sunny weather, it lifts the spirits, and the level of riding. All the girls were pushing it and it still remains a challenge even after so many consecutive wins!"
With more and more crowds surrounding an already packed pipe, it was time for the men to drop in after a short shaping break. Tension started to rise, as the men all seemed very eager to beat each run prior to their own. It still was Iouri Podtladchikov taking the lead the first chance he had, dropping in second to last in the first round. With two exactly identical scores of 88.90 in the first and second run, his winning run was his first, failing to improve. His second run started off with a frontside 540 indy to backside 1260 double cork mute, backside air and alley oop Andrecht Plant. His second run was equally impressive and again showed a lot of style: frontside 900 tai to backside 900 mute followed by a frontside double cork 1080 to Cab double cork 1080 mute. Iouri had a big smile on his face all day and said: 'It was so sunny today and you can just boost. There is a sick crew out here, pipe held up, sick crowd and it's home turf for me so I can't even talk right now, its incredible!!'
The prizegiving ceremony today concluded a great week of riding, starting of with the youngest talents at large in the Junior's competitions Slopestyle and Halfpipe, where Stian Kleivdal (NOR), Kyle Mack (USA), Miyabi Onitsuka (JAP) and Zoe Kalapos (USA) were the stars. In thrilling Slopestyle finals we saw Jamie Anderson (USA) dominate and Aleksander Ostreng (NOR) take his first 6Star win.
There was some shifting in the rankings with the Burton European Open now wrapped up. In the Women's Halfpipe Rankings Gretchen Bleiler moved up to second position, pushing Queralt Castellet in third. Swiss Ursina Haller made it into the top five with her result today.
The Men's Halfpipe Ranking still has Ryo Aono in the lead, followed by Christian Haller moving from fifth to second position with Iouri Podladtchikov moving up from thirteenth place to third.
The Women's Overall Rankings sees Jamie Anderson now leading, pushing Cilka Sadar down to the second position, followed by Kjersti Ostgaard-Buaas.
The Overall Rankings will remain thrilling till the end in the men's competition, with Stale Sandbech still leading, but with Peetu Piiroinen now close on his heels in second place. Janne Korpi and Christian Haller move up in third and fourth and still have chances to take the lead from Stale at the Burton US Open coming up.
This week had a pretty packed TTR event schedule, with two 5Star competitions running alongside the Burton European Open. In Mammoth, USA the Grand Prix welcomed riders to Slopestyle and Halfpipe disciplines, and in Leysin, Switzerland the Nescafé Champs featured some more Slopestyle action.
All these results have great impact on the TTR World Tour rankings, and it will make the tour finale, the Burton US Open in Stratton next week, very exciting. Another 6 Awards still have to be picked up, by the best Overall, Slopestyle and Halfpipe riders; male and female.
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