Champs Open: Switzerland´s most historic contest
All happening February 4th till 7th, 2009, one of the most historic competitions on the Tour will feature an upgraded Star level, a stacked riders list and a monster 650 meter Slopestyle course.
The format will see new upcoming riders enter the contest, looking to overcome the big TTR names. Everyone will be aiming to score part of the 850 TTR Ranking points and $50 000 USD prize purse up for grabs.
Due to other TTR events such as the Air & Style and Red Bull Snowscrapers pending within the next week, predictions are almost impossible to make for the World Ranking List. These events are sure to drastically alter the ranking, meaning the Swatch TTR Top 10 will look very different in a matter of days. However, one thing is for sure - The Crans-Montana Champs Open will be paramount in deciding the already super tight race.
Current World No.6 Risto Mattila (FIN) is having another stellar season which is seeing him shape up to be a potential TTR Tour Champion. He is currently advancing up the ranking so expect him to be on fire. Current World No. 16 Ville Uotila (FIN) and last year’s Champs Open winner Jaakko Ruha (FIN), who now sits in World No. 22, will also be in attendance, looking to grab some more Swatch TTR Points. If the season so far is anything to go by, then it is safe to assume there will be some Finns on the podium. The Godfather of Swiss snowboarding, Gian Simmen, recently impressed at O’Neill Evolution and Burton European Open and now sits in World No. 35. Although he may be older than most of the riders, he still has a few tricks up his sleeve and will give the Swiss rookies some inspiration and guidance.
Andy Finch, the U.S. rider, with the motto “Go big or go home!” has so far been laying low on the TTR circuit this season so he is sure to have a game plan to fire his season into action. Elias Elhardt (GER) and Steve Krijbolder (NED) are two young riders currently making waves in the snowboard scene. Both of them finished strongly at the 6Star O’Neill Evolution and will be looking to keep the ball rolling in Crans-Montana, where they have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
In the last competition of the 2009 FIS Snowboard World Championships Gangwon, Korea, one Finnish rider proofed once again that Big Air is its home country’s domain.
On Saturday February 14th the Crystal Ground – Snowpark Kleinwalsertal again becomes the place-to-be for the snowboarding and freeski scene.
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