O'Neill's Bernhard Ritzer, Global Sports Marketing Director, said: "Despite recent snowfalls, Mother Nature hasn't made things easy for us. As a result, we have decided to focus all our time, attention and available snow on staging the best Big Air contest the O'Neill Evolution has ever seen. This single-minded focus means we can give the riders all the time, support and favorable weather windows they need to push the evolution of freestyle snowboarding to the next level."
This year's maximum rated TTR Big Air event will see the return of current Evolution Big Air Champion Seb Toots. Another rising star looking to put it down in front of cheering crowds will be Norway's Gjermund Braaten - winner of last weekend's Slopestyle title at the prestigious Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Colorado. Three-time TTR World Tour Champion Peetu Piiroinen - himself no stranger to the O'Neill Evolution podium - will also be gracing the event with his presence.
It will be no walk in the park for the Finn, though, with nine of the world's current top 10 Big Air riders already signed up to throw down on a kicker spanning 24 meters in length - the biggest Davos has ever seen, and one that has been specifically designed to allow riders to attempt triple corks. An innovative rail feature at the foot of the Big Air, featuring a straight rail, kinked rail and wall ride, will ensure only the most versatile of riders stand a chance of claiming the lion's share of the $125,000 total prize money and ranking points.
With three full days of practice available to riders and shapers alike, you can bet your bottom dollar it's going to go off once the contest gets underway. With rider numbers in Round 1 increased from 50 to 75 and an extra round thrown in for good measure, the O'Neill Evolution 2012 will offer the freestyle superstars of tomorrow a golden opportunity to make a name for themselves on the big stage. The not-so-small matter of $40,000 and $20,000 winner cheques for the men and women respectively is a guarantee, if ever it was needed, that the world's best riders won't be holding anything back during the nighttime finals.
Don't miss it, whatever you do. And if you're unable to make it to Davos to watch all the action in person, be sure to tune into the live webcasts and live TV broadcasts during the business end of the contest.
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