Burton European Open confirms top riders
The 10th annual Burton European Open (BEO) is gearing up to be one of the season’s most exciting snowboard events as many of the world’s best riders get ready to compete in Laax, Switzerland from Jan. 9 till 16, 2009.
All invited riders are confirmed and all open spots have been filled. Around 300 riders from 24 different countries – from amateurs to rookies to pros – registered online for a spot in the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines. Riders from Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even Israel are expected to join this year’s anniversary event.
All riders who make it through the qualification will have the chance to battle with the world’s top riders, among them last year’s Swatch TTR World Champion 07/08 and defending BEO Halfpipe Champion Kevin Pearce from the US. Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who just won the Nissan X-Trail Jam in Tokyo last weekend, is defending his BEO 08 Slopestyle title and will be going after the BEO Halfpipe crown this year.
Last year’s BGOS Champion Peetu Piiroinen will be one of the hottest candidates for a podium spot in both Halfpipe and Slopestyle, especially after his 2nd place finish in the Big Air competition at last weekend’s Nissan X-Trail Jam. Shaun, Kevin and Peetu will be joined by an armada of former BEO winners including Keir Dillon/USA, Nicolas Müller/SUI, David Benedek/GER, Heikki Sorsa/FIN, Mikkel Bang/NOR and Andy Finch/USA.
For the ladies, two-time Burton European Open winner and Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark/USA will try to earn her third BEO victory. Kelly has gotten off to a strong start this season with a 3rd place finish in the New Zealand Open halfpipe event and a first place title at the season’s first Grand Prix at Copper Mountain last weekend. Also confirmed is reigning Swatch TTR World Champion 07/08 Jamie Anderson, who is currently in first place for the 2009 BGOS $100,000 title after three first place finishes at the New Zealand and Australia Opens in August.
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Winds gusting up to 140 km/hour and flat light combined caused the TTR 6Star Roxy Chicken Jam to be called off. Event organizers cancelled the competition after assessing the difficult weather conditions.
For one week it was all about the subject “art on snow” in the Kleinwalsertal. The unique art project succeeded to bridge the board riders art and the sport itself with exhibitions, vernissages, workshops, movie screenings and several parties.