Malin, Clark Take Early Lead At The Halfpipe Semifinals Of The BEO 2008Jan 16 2008 / Laax, Switzerland
It was snowing a little harder today as the Men’s and Women’s Halfpipe semi-finals determined the few who will battle it out in the finals. Friday will host the suspenseful Halfpipe competition for the Swatch TTR SIX(6)STAR Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland, as a new Tour Leader could be announced.
The women hit the gargantuan pipe first, with only eight riders out of a field of twenty moving on to Friday’s showdown. Current TTR World No. 1 Kelly Clark (USA) took the top spot in the semis with a strong 1st run that included a huge FS Air to an even bigger BS Air, into a FS 5 indy, followed by a smooth mute, into a FS 7 mute, finishing her run with a Cab 3 melon. In second came Clair Bidez (USA) followed by 05/06 TTR Tour Champion Cheryl Maas (NED), each connecting their tricks with style.
06/07 TTR Tour Champion Torah Bright bounced back from her unfortunate slopestyle result, placing 6th in the semis and making the Halfpipe finals. Kelly Clark however has lots of momentum going into the finals, and will need to maintain it if she hopes to hold off Jones and Anderson from bumping her down from her current Tour lead. Jenny Jones (GBR) and Jamie Anderson (USA) took the number one and two spots in the slopestyle semi-finals yesterday, but neither is competing in the Halfpipe Finals. The chase for World No. 1 is so close between these Top 3 riders, as Clark could hold on that Top TTR spot if she wins the SIX(6)STAR Halfpipe BEO Title.
Peetu Piiroinen at the BEO 2008 Halfpipe Semifinals (c) BEO Images
Shortly after the Women’s session, the Finnish male riders dominated the snowy pipe with Markus Malin (FIN) finishing first, completing a sick second run composed of a BS Air into a stylish FS rodeo 7, continuing with a Cab 10 into a FS mute into a BS 9 mute, ending with an Air to Fakie tail. Risto Mattila (FIN) came second, stomping a huge Mctwist and strong 7s. Antti Autti, also Finnish and a Flow team rider alongside Mattila, came third with sick 10s, stomping each trick in his run and securing his place in the Halfpipe finals.
Risto Mattila, current TTR World No. 6, is one of just a handful of riders who is posting two TTR results this week. Mattila could very well move into World No. 1 following Friday’s Halfpipe finals. 06/07 Tour Champion Shaun White (USA) cut it down to the wire after breaking his board on the first hit of his first run. White stuck it his second time around, qualifying for the finals, and will continue to make things interesting on Thursday and Friday.
American riders Kevin Pearce and Andy Finch will be looking to stay in the Swatch TTR Top 5. Finch, who is currently World No. 1 barely made the cut off, placing 16th out of field of thirty-nine competitors in the semis. To keep a top spot in the TTR Rankings, Finch will have to out-perform Mattila and Pearce in the exciting climax of the Swatch TTR SIX(6)STAR Burton European Open 2008.
All the finals for men and women in both Slopestyle and Halfpipe are available for live viewing on GO211.com and Freecaster.tv so you can catch all the on-mountain action from the warmth of your home.
Thursday, January 17: Live Morning Show 10:45-11:15 CET/4:45-5:15 a.m.ET
Thursday, January 17: Slopestyle Finals 11:15-13:00 CET/5:15-7:00 a.m.ET
Friday, January 18: Live Morning Show 11:15-11:45 CET/5:15-5:45 a.m.ET
Friday, January 18: Halfpipe Finals 11:45-14:45 CET/5:45-8:45 a.m.ET
Halfpipe Semi-Final Result – Men
1. Markus Malin FIN Salomon
2. Risto Mattila FIN Flow
3. Antti Autti FIN Flow
4. Markus Keller SUI Nitro (pictured / (c) TTR)
5. Ben Stewart NZE Nitro
6. Kevin Pearce USA Burton
7. Shaun White USA Burton
8. Iouri Podladtchikov SUI Santa Cruz
9. Roger Kleivdal NOR K2
10. Peetu Piiroinen FIN Burton
11. Markku Koski FIN Quiksilver
12. Mason Aguirre USA Burton
13. Olivier Gittler FRA Burton
14. Frederik Austbo NOR Quiksilver
15. Keir Dillon USA Burton
16. Andy Finch USA Rip Curl
Halfpipe Semi-Final Result – Women
1. Kelly Clark USA Burton
2. Clair Bidez USA Flow
3. Cheryl Maas NED Volcom
4. Linn Haug NOR Burton
5. Manuela Laura Pesko SUI FTWO
6. Torah Bright AUS Roxy
7. Sina Candrian SUI Burton
8. Hannah Teter USA Burton