Thursday Dec 02, 2010

Air & Style Beijing just days away

This weekend, The People's Republic of China will welcome the first major snowboard event ever to take place in the country, the Oakley and Shaun White present Air & Style Beijing.  This is also the first 6Star event of the men’s 2010/2011 Swatch TTR World Tour and is set to take place at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium on Saturday December 4, 2010.  The elite big air event will feature 16 of the world’s most talented snowboarders, who will be competing in front of an electric crowd of 15,000 people for a piece of the $100,000 USD prize purse and a maximum of 1000 TTR World Ranking points. You can watch it all LIVE right here.

First Major Snowboard Event in China
Riders from around the world will make the trek to China this week for the Air & Style Beijing and, in addition to getting ready for the first major event of the TTR season, will be treated to a cultural experience that will be unmatched at any other tour stop of the year.  For many riders who follow the TTR circuit traveling across Europe and North America has become the norm, but China will be a brand new experience for many of the men who will be in attendance. “I’m super pumped to go and compete in China,” says American rider, Scotty Lago, “I’ve never been there before and I’m sure I’ll see some interesting things over there, to say the least.”  Beijing is known as the cultural center of China and while snowboarders are in town for the Air & Style competition they will have the opportunity to take in the local traditions, unique ancient and modern sights, chow some authentic Chinese cuisine and snowboard in one of the world’s greatest cities.

Jockeying for Position as the Height of the Season Approaches
The Air & Style Beijing is the first 6Star event on the TTR World Tour for the men and the riders list includes some heavy hitters in the TTR World Ranking. Current Swatch TTR World No. 1, Gjermund Braaten, has been active in the early season and has already collected seven results giving him a healthy lead in the World Rankings.  If he does well in Beijing, he could extend his tour lead, which will set him up very nicely for the string of upcoming major events in January and February. However, other riders will have the opportunity to play catch-up with 1000 TTR Ranking points up for grabs for the first place finisher.

 Riders who can close the gap on Braaten’s lead include TTR World No. 4, Iouri Podladtchikov, and Belgian young gun and current World No. 2, Seppe Smits.  Other riders to watch out for include Marko Grilc (SLO), who took the win at the Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck last December, two-time TTR Tour Champion Peetu Piiroinen (FIN), Mikkel Bang (NOR), Scotty Lago (USA) and Sebastien Toutant (CAN) are always major threats in a big air format.

Watch all the Action Live via Webcast
The Air & Style events are well known for the unique “head-to-head” big air format that is very exciting to watch.  The bracket-style knockout format is similar to college basketball finals where two snowboarders face off against each other with three runs apiece to see who can obtain the best score.  The rider who wins moves on to the next round while the rider who loses is knocked out of competition.  All the head-to-head action, from semi-finals to the super final, can be viewed live via webcast on December 4th at 12:30 CET, 11:30 GMT, 06:30 EST, 03:30 PST and 19:30 local time right here.

Confirmed Riders List:
Marko Grilc (SLO)
Peetu Piiroinen (FIN)
Andreas Wiig (NOR)
Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI)
Wener Stock (AUS)
Elias Elhardt (GER)
Markus Malin (FIN)
Gjermund Braaten (NOR)
Janne Korpi (FIN)
Mikkel Bang (NOR)
Scotty Lago (USA)
Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN)
Halldor Helgason (ISL)
Sebastian Toutant (CAN)
Eric Willet (USA)
Seppe Smits (BEL)

Channels: Snowboard