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NISSAN X-TRAIL JAM STOMPS ANOTHER FIRST IN SNOWBOARDING...
Monday, 11 December 2006
RICE KILLS BIG AIR, WHITE TAKES CONTEST, TOP 10 CHANGES ABOUND...
TTR 6(six) Nissan X-Trail Jam Big Air.
The exterior of the Tokyo Dome is simply a smokescree for the 45,000 spectators who showed up to enjoy one of the sickest showdowns in modern snowboarding. We would like to go deeper into it, but results need to be uploaded and parties need too be attended.
What needs to be said now is simply the following:
Travis Rice and Shaun White bailed their first run attempts, leaving Mathieu Crepel the freedom to stomp an all but perfect Switch b/s 1080. The contest lookedd over with one run to go, best run counts. Travis drop after asking the 45,000 spectators to give him the motivation to go for it.
They did. So he did. Stomping the si9ckest double flip b/s 180 ever seen (editors note: I've only seen two. And only in the ast two weeks) drivng him into an all but impregnable lead. White failed a 1080 attempt... at the end of the day what do you do to follow that? we are talking all or nothing territory here!
Mathieu Crepel, with one run to define the Nisan X-Trail results, attempted a switch b/s 1260. A trick he had never tried before, and a trick it does not look as if he won't land shortly. Again, in front of 45,000 fans, it was time to get creative. Coming oh, so short, Mat spat out and it was Travis who stood elated, board above his head and a well deserved ttr 6(six) Star Nissan X-Trail Big Air title. The Second TTR 6(Star) Title in two weeks. Nissan X-Trail Jam Big Air Results
1. Travis Rice DC, Lib Tech, Oakley USA
2. Mathieu Crepel Rossignol, Quiksilver FRA
3. Shaun White Burton, Oakley, Volcom USA TTR World Snowboard Tour Results (QP+BA Combined Results)
1. Shaun White Burton, Oakley, Volcom USA
2. Travis Rice DC, Lib Tech, Oakley USA
3. Risto Mattila Flow, Billabong, VZ FIN Nissan X-Trail Jam Quarterpipe Report
Opening blows at Japan’s only 6(six) Star event, the Nissan X-Trail went down on Saturday under the pressurized canopy of architecturally ingenious, Tokyo Dome situated in downtown Tokyo. Ten international riders, including the TTR Top 5 and all three Olympic Halfpipe medallists met three seeded and three qualified Japanese riders in front of 30,000 adjutant spectators. On a 7 meter feature, the likes of Shaun White(USA), Antti Autti(FIN), Risto Mattila(FIN), Travis Rice(USA), Nicolas Mueller(SUI), Mathieu Crepel(FRA), Danny Kass(USA) and home town favourite Rio Tahara(JPN) stood toe-to-toe in an unforgiving Quarterpipe showdown. With 3,000,000 yen (20,000 Euro) and a Nissan X-Trail SUV up for grabs – it was on.
The panel of internationally renown snowboard critics, Michi Albin(SUI), Johan Olafosson(SWE), Bryan Iguchi(USA), Ingemar Backman(SWE) mushed tactfully by head critic, Ishi(JPN), had their pencil sharpeners running red hot as the action kicked in. The Japanese qualification session, possibly the surprise of the night, set the bar at a sizzling level from the get-go. Anybody who sat in the patronizing position that Japanese snowboarding was anything short of sensational were made to eat their words, run after run, as the local rippers unleashed their wares to an appreciative home town crowd.
Just like Japan as a nation, it was high tech, power precision riding that impressed the international riders almost as much as it delighted the local fans. Going against this theme was the shirtless home town hero of Rio Tahara who, with no apparent regard to his own personal safety, hucked his backside rodeo, stomping it clean and earning his right into the semi-finals. Brothers, Daisuke and Fumiyuki Maurakami made it a family affair picking up the two remaining qualification positions, both stomping towering Mc Twists.
Jam by name, jam by nature, the Nissan X-Trail Jam lived up to that exact billing. The semi-finals were cut into two 20-minute sessions, the snowboard critics focusing on style, amplitude and variety of tricks. With a massive roar from an expectant crowd and a massive LED screen ticking down each semi-final session, six riders were adjudicated to have done enough to make the super final. Continuing their riding rampage, all three podium riders from last weeks TTR 6(six) Star Nokia Air&Style, Rice, Mattila and Autti were joined by Nissan X-Trail defending Champion, Nicolas Mueller, outstanding local, Daisuke Muakami and lastly Shaun White, riding like a man with a point to prove. The expert panel of snowboard critics had an unenviable job to cut it to six, Andy Finch and Markku Koski would both have grounds to
Pumped up by local band, ‘Beat Crusaders’, 30,000 adoring fans were brought to their feet as the Nissan X-Trail said ‘Arigatou’ – thanks – to their favourite son, six-time participant and four-time Nissan X-Trail Jam winner, Terje Haakonsen who had announced his retirement from the previous year. Strangely enough, Haakonsen had brought his board to Tokyo and had participated in Friday’s Quarter training. Not so strange at all – he killed it! When asked who he thought would take the Quarter title after the training session, Travis Rice laughed and said, “Haakon, for sure!”. Haakon, with a wry grin joked, “I only retired from the X-Trail so I could make a comeback!”. Still the master of transition, he continued, “And I might need to come back to show these kids how to do backside airs…ha, ha!” If you are into the odd wager, putting a couple of shekels on Haakonsen returning could be a good little earner.
With the crowd now hyped the Superfinal exploded into life as presenter extraordinaire, Neil Hartman, struck a massive ornate Japanese gong and the 30-minute session started to count down. Second by second the Jam session heated up, by no more than 5 minutes it was fully on the boil. Riders were dropping in so fast that it almost resembled a rapid fire, no sooner had they stomped something gnarley they were running back to the top. The two Fin’s and riding Mattila and Autti, fresh of their 2nd and 3rd respectively at last weekend’s Nokia Air&Style, traded blows right of the bat. Risto throwing an enormous McTwist followed by a tweaked out f/s 3 Japan (when in Rome…) and what he called later, a ‘flatspin’. Not to be out done, Antti pulled out a b/s 5 and then a b/s 7 Japan, and followed it with a huge Method. Travis Rice and Shaun White went head to head, inveted rotations the name of the game, Travis stomping a massive b/s 7 and Shaun a b/s Rodeo, McTwist and a f/s 10. Nicolas Mueller, last years title holder, all but stomped a huge onefooted McTwist… the action was insane.
The tempo mounted as the final second drew near and as Neil Hartman again hit the gong to signal the end of the Superfinal, in the true spirit of the event, Shaun and Travis pulled a tandem handplant to tumultuous applause. As the critics were sweating over their memory boards to come to a final standing, fans near the riders area all but stripped riders to their underwear! A 10 minutes wait and the critics had delivered their verdic. It was Antti Autti who reversed the position of last weeks Air&Style, pipping Risto Mattila for 2nd. It could only be Rice or White vying for the podium position. Neil Hartman took a deep breath, a double check of his result sheet… and Shaun White’s name thundering around the Tokyo Dome’s sound system was only drowned out by 30,000 voices screaming in unison.
The Quarterpipe done, we return here tomorrow when the Quarterpipe will be gone to make room for the 45,000 spectators who will show up to watch the Big Air contest. With the TTR result based on the combination of the two formats, the action is going to be intense. Super Final Results:
1. Shaun White Burton, Volcom, Oakley USA
2. Antti Autti Flow, Billabong, VZ FIN
3. Risto Mattila Flow, Billabong FIN
4. Travis Rice DC, Lib Tech, Oakley USA
5. Nicolas Mueller Burton, Oakley, Arcus SUI
6. Daisuke Murakami K2 JPN www.ttrworldtour.com