The 11,000 screaming spectators at the Bergisel Stadium saw a veritable spectacle when the 6Star Billabong Air & Style took over the ski-jump stadium with a gigantic straight jump and 16 of the world's best snowboarders. The exciting head-to-head format saw rider by rider get knocked out until there was the final showdown between four riders in the super-final. The winner, Canadian Mark McMorris, took home a large part of the 75.000 € prize purse, as well as, the well respected “Air & Style Ring of Glory”, leaving Finland’s Peetu Piiroinen in second place and local superstar Werni Stock in third. With his result today, Peetu reclaimed the Swatch TTR World Tour lead and is heading with speed for a third consecutive TTR World Tour Champion Title, which will be determined at the 6Star Burton US Open in March.
Billabong Air & Style Saw Progressive Tricks Thrown Down With Style
The atmosphere was electric when rider after rider took their three runs flying over the huge straight jump, in order to determine who would remain to compete in the super-final. Mark McMorris made his way to victory by knocking out Finnish shredder, Markus Malin, in the first round with a stylish Cab 1260 double cork. In the second round he edged out Sage Kotsenburg, who in the first round had thrown down a first in competition history, a Cab 1440 double cork, knocking out Canadian Sebastien Toutant. In the super final, on his last run, Mark stomped a stylish Backside 1260 double cork, which moved him ahead of Peetu Piiroinen.
Peetu was stoked on his second place and is looking forward to a tight battle for the 10/11 Swatch TTR Tour Champion Title: “This event exceeded all my expectations, I would not have thought I could make top three as I have had a small injury with my rib. I got good TTR points today and being number one at this point is great. My toughest competitors to watch out for are definitely Seb Toots, Iouri Podladtchikov and Mark McMorris.” Local favourite Werni Stock got huge cheers from the crowd for his Switch Backside 1260, which landed him third place in the super-finals just ahead of Nils Arvidsson (SWE) who finished in fourth place.
Rookie Challenge Feeds New Talent
The day started off with the Air & Style “Rookie Challenge”, and with an exception this year due to some injuries in the main event rider list, two of the top rookies where rushed straight to the top to compete against the invited riders in the main event. The rookies were eager to use this opportunity and threw down some impressive tricks. Up-and-coming Norwegian rider, Torgeir Bergrem, took the first spot with a massive Cab 1260 and Swiss youngster, Patrick Burgener, qualified in second. Last year's Rookie Challenge winner, Seppe Smits (BEL), landed a Cab 1440 on his first ever try, but it was not enough to knock out Peetu Piiroinen in the second round.