O誰eill Evolution 2009: Epic slopestyle final
It was a battle that no one could have predicted - a young Belgian rider taking on the might of Finland. However, Janne Korpi, rider from Nummela in Finland had no trouble defying gravity to beat 17 year old Seppe Smits in an epic slopestyle O誰eill Evolution 2009 final.
“I’m so stoked,” said Janne who now moves up to second place on the Swatch TTR World Tour rankings. “It’s been a long day and my legs are so tired.” While the knock-out round format suited the consistency and skill of Janne, it was the intimacy of the competition that he found to be more of a challenge.
“I don’t really like going up against and having to battle my friends,” he said. “That is hard.” However, he didn’t have too hard a time in the final. His three runs consisted of a fs1080, a cab1080 and then a massive bs rodeo 900. On all of them, as commentator Gian Simmen pointed out, “he stomped the landing.”
His fellow finalist Seppe joined the rest of the crowd in Davos in admiring the talent of the young Finn: “There was nothing I could have done, no trick I could have done could have beaten Janne,” he said.
It was quite an achievement for the 17 year old Belgian. His three runs featured a bs900 mute, a huge cab 9, and a bs720.
“It’s the best result I have ever got,” he said. “It’s just so crazy. I am just so stoked, I almost can’t believe it.”
Despite his youth and his first success at this level, Seppe was calm throughout – as demonstrated by his heart rate monitor, which remained surprisingly constant and low – unlike many of the other riders who were sporting the monitors from the quarter-finals.
Seppe came through the knockout rounds, eliminating the likes of Iouri Podlatchikov, Kim Rune Hansen and the current Swatch TTR World Tour leader, Chas Guldemond.
Chas, who finished fourth, still retains his number one status despite being knocked out by Seppe in the semi finals. “I was so disappointed at first, but then I sat back and enjoyed the final,” he said.
Chas had previously stomped two massive 1260s – the first to make it through the round of 16, and then again in the quarterfinals against Peetu Piiroinen. “How was that?!,” he said. “I’ve never stomped them before like that.”
This was no ordinary snowboard competition, and this was no ordinary slopestyle course. The face of Jack O’Neill – the founder of O’Neill and inventor of the wetsuit, had been carved into the second kicker for everyone to soar over.
A snow sculpture of the solar system, representing the O’Neill Evolution challenge of 2009 to defy gravity, sat at the bottom of the course congratulating all the riders who flew through it.
And with the slopestyle winner crowned, now it’s all about the quarterpipe – and last year’s Evolution quarterpipe winner Kim Rune Hansen is exctited, although also a little hesitant to get back onto it: “The quarterpipe is so scary,” he said. “I was scared last year as well. I try not to think about it too often, but because I’ve been injured a lot this season I’ve been thinking about it a bit more.”
This is the first competition back for the Norwegian rider since being injured back in May. “I am still getting used to things again.” However if his performance in the slopestyle is anything to go by - reaching the quarterfinals in style, only going out to Seppe Smits – he should be in top form.
Quarterpipe finals start tomorrow (January 10). The round of 32 will start at 3.45pm.
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With a high air of 7.8 meters and the likes of a 6.8 meter bs720, the qualification round of the O誰eill Evolution 2009 Quarterpipe in Davos set an impressive standard for the finals.